Thursday Open Thread [12.12.13]

Filed in Open Thread by on December 12, 2013

How E.J. Dionne understands Pope Francis, who yesterday was selected Time Magazine’s Man of the Year. I think we can all agree that is a well deserved honor.

As the leader of a church that has so long been viewed as dogmatic, hierarchical, and traditional, Francis bids to turn himself into a model of a kind of mystical humility that combines a spirit of moderation with intellectual openness and a radical understanding of what the primacy of the spiritual over the material means. Benedict issued a stern warning against a “dictatorship of relativism.” Francis seems worried about something else entirely.

“If the Christian is a restorationist, a legalist, if he wants everything clear and safe, then he will find nothing,” he has said. “Tradition and memory of the past must help us to have the courage to open up new areas to God. Those who today always look for disciplinarian solutions, those who long for an exaggerated doctrinal ‘security,’ those who stubbornly try to recover a past that no longer exists­ — they have a static and inward-directed view of things. In this way, faith becomes an ideology among other ideologies. I have a dogmatic certainty: God is in every person’s life.”

Thus is his one “dogmatic certainty” — a thoroughly undogmatic universalism more interested in shattering barriers than erecting them. It’s a very new approach to religion in the modern world, rooted in the oldest of doctrines.

Jon Stewart on .. The Handshake.

First Read: “But here’s probably the best way to view it: Would you greet (or shake hands with) an estranged family member at a memorial service for a loved one? Or do you go out of your way to snub that person? In other words, is that day about you and your conflict? Or about that loved one who’s being memorialized lying in a casket?

We know the answer from the GOP, who are all narcissistic mental cases deserving of institutionalization.

James Antle on Conservative reaction to Mandela:

The right tends to have one of two responses to figures like Mandela abroad or Martin Luther King, Jr. at home: suggest their radicalism is more important than the struggles of the people they championed or to try to claim them as conservatives. Neither approach will do.
The lack of empathy many white conservatives feel toward communities of color may not be the only barrier between the right and minorities. But it is an important barrier.

Many conservatives who have been supportive of civil-rights struggles overseas err in another direction: expressing their concern through bombing and sanctions, as if the people and their leaders live in separate hermetically sealed containers. Condoleezza Rice once compared the war in Iraq and the fight against Jim Crow, an analogy that may strike many Iraqi refugees as inapt.

About the Author ()

Comments (42)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Jason330 says:

    The Castro handshake story gives us a window into how unimportant the wingnut media has become. This is the first I’m reading about the “scandal”, and I follow political news.

    The media in general has become a laughingstock, the wignut media more so.

  2. Jason330 says:

    As if I needed proof, the next thing I looked at in the internet tubes was this gem from Fox News:

    “By the way, for all you kids watching at home, Santa just is white but this person is just arguing that maybe we should also have a black Santa,” Kelly said. “Santa is what he is and just so you know, we are debating this because someone wrote about it, kids. … Just because it makes you feel uncomfortable doesn’t mean it has to change. … Jesus was a white man, too. He was a historical figure. That’s a verifiable fact — as is Santa. I just want the kids watching to know that. My point is, how do you just revise it in the middle of the legacy of the story and change Santa from white to black?”

    Santa and Jesus are white. America needs to be reminded of that once in a while. That Santa and Jesus are Protestant Republicans is also a well known fact that goes without saying.

  3. Geezer says:

    “People” keep voting in the poll claiming John Carney deserves an A for the job he does in Washington.

    I challenge any of these “people” to explain the rationale behind this letter grade. I’m willing to wager that anyone who responds will have to use a name, and an IP address, never seen before at this site.

  4. fightingbluehen says:

    Visit the “Human Rights Watch” website, and you can read all about what a great guy Raul Castro is.
    I can only speak for myself, but I certainly wouldn’t shake that guy’s hand.

  5. Dorian Gray says:

    Human Rights Watch, huh? Here’s a little experiment. If we considered the human rights violations in Cuba against the NSA spying, “war on drugs” raids by our militarized police, drones strikes in Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, etc…, the Gitmo Gulag… perhaps Castro shouldn’t have shaken hands with Obama.

    The entire thing is fucking stupid. He wasn’t going to make a deal with the guy. He saw a head of State at a funeral. By the HRW logic Obama shouldn’t have shaken Dick Cheney hand at his first inauguration.

    Oh and by the way, the European Santa Claus myth was developed from the legand of a Christian bishop from a Black Sea village in what is now Turkey. So technically speaking, the original St Nick is not white.

  6. fightingbluehen says:

    “People” keep voting in the poll claiming John Carney deserves an A for the job he does in Washington.

    Overall performance of the group is pretty low so an A graded on a curve isn’t such a stretch…… especially when you add rugged good looks and a fine physique.

  7. cassandra_m says:

    I get this business about not wanting to shake the hand (much less be in the room) of ideological opponents. Especially the ones who who have this deep Christianist thing going on, but actively advocate for policies that hurt people. Or who spend their time advocating for the moneychangers instead of chasing them away. Or who are just plain racist. Some of those people comment here, really. And if I were in proximity of these people, I would be inclined to not shake their hands, to deny them any recognition of their humanity, even to leave the room we find ourselves together in.

    Then I remember that I was brought up by civilized people. Shaking hands, saying hello, acknowledging the other person is POLITE. So I understand Obama’s instinct to be polite, because he was raised by civilized people too. If I shook your hand, fbh, it wouldn’t be because I agree with you on much or even like you very much. It would be because being polite to other people in public is what the civilized people who raised me taught me to do.

  8. Delaware Dem says:

    Hear hear! It is beginning to dawn on me that all Republicans, whether they be ultra conservatives, moderate business types, raging neocons, religious fundamentalists, or obnoxious Randian Libertarians, have one thing in common.

    They are all fucking assholes.

  9. fightingbluehen says:

    “I get this business about not wanting to shake the hand (much less be in the room) of ideological opponents”

    Ideological opponents?
    The guy has his ideological opponents beaten, publicly humiliated, and imprisoned.
    I don’t think that falls into the same category as arguing politics on DL .

  10. fightingbluehen says:

    I’m thinking Delaware Dem might like to have his/her ideological opponents beaten, and imprisoned.

  11. cassandra_m says:

    I don’t think that falls into the same category as arguing politics on DL .

    I think that there are people commenting on DL (and other places) who would not mind public humiliation and imprisonment (don’t get me started on voting) of their ideological opponents. Well brought up people deal with their differences in more productive ways that this high schoolish — don’t touch me! — bullshit.

  12. fightingbluehen says:

    In other news, 15 people reportedly killed in mistaken drone attack on civilians going to wedding party in Yemen.

    How long before they realize that this type of foreign policy only creates more people who will want to kill Americans.

  13. LeBay says:

    Well brought up people deal with their differences in more productive ways that this high schoolish — don’t touch me! — bullshit.

    Yes they do.

    Unfortunately, the PWT contingent insists that they were brought up well, bein’ that momma took ‘em ta church & led ‘em to Jeezus and all. They just know it’s the “coloreds” (I hope people laugh/cringe when they read that term…I did when I wrote it) who are the problem. Specially upstate in Wummingtin.

  14. cassandra_m says:

    How long before they realize that this type of foreign policy only creates more people who will want to kill Americans.

    We’re clearly NOT shaking hands with these people — what else could you want?

  15. fightingbluehen says:

    So, I’m white trash now, LeBay ?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5iDgsP_oVI‎

  16. frankbell says:

    This Daily Show video autoplays.

    Autoplaying is rude.

  17. SussexWatcher says:

    Ayotte is running against Rep. Steve Smyk (R-20th) on the iPod ticket: http://delaware1059.com/story.php?id=5872

  18. pandora says:

    Well. That should be interesting, SussexWatcher. I’d say more, but I have to run out and buy popcorn! ;-)

  19. Delaware Dem says:

    Frank, it is not auto playing for me.

  20. Tom McKenney says:

    @ fbh
    In other news, 15 people reportedly killed in mistaken drone attack on civilians going to wedding party in Yemen.

    By your logic, a great reason for others not to shake of most American presidents.

  21. fightingbluehen says:

    I said that I could only speak for myself Tom McKenney. You can shake hands with whomever you choose. I don’t give a flying you know what.
    If you choose to shake the hand that signs off on beatings, torture, and indiscriminate heinous acts, and imprisonment, that’s your prerogative now isn’t it?

  22. Jason330 says:

    I’m looking forward to he day Satan welcomes Dick Cheney to hell with a handshake and a redhot pitchfork to the ass.

  23. Dorian Gray says:

    Couple questions because I’m still confused.

    I didn’t think we were discussing whether some commentor here would shake someone’s hand… I think we were talking about the president.

    So would FBH shake Dick Cheney’s hand, or David Addington or John Yoo? What’s the rule there? Are American war criminals OK to greet or no?

  24. fightingbluehen says:

    @Dorian Grey- Aren’t we talking about Raul Castro, who is the dictator behind state sponsored imprisonment, beatings, and other such things on his own people, for the simple reason of disagreeing with his political ideologies? I don’t think Dick Cheney quite falls into that category, and I didn’t know America had any war criminals.

    As for shaking hands with Dick Cheney. Well, I’ve never had, and probably won’t ever have the chance. I would have to see how it felt in real time. Maybe I would, maybe I wouldn’t.

  25. fightingbluehen says:

    I did shake hands with Nixon a couple of times, so who knows…..lol.

  26. pandora says:

    If someone makes a scene, or detracts attention away from a funeral… shame on them. That’s classless. Not the time or the place. People raised well know this.

  27. Dave says:

    It was a funeral. It was a handshake. You want Obama to send a message that we don’t like the Castro regime at a funeral? There is a time to snub, but the problem with the ideological obsessed is that ideology trumps everything, including manners and couth. I think it is almost a point of pride with the right wing that they have no class.

  28. fightingbluehen says:

    “If someone makes a scene, or detracts attention away from a funeral… shame on them. That’s classless. Not the time or the place. People raised well know this.”

    I’m thinking the Castro hand shake detracted more attention away from the funeral than if it hadn’t happened.
    Anyway, it’s kind of hard to make a scene in a football stadium filled with thousands of people dancing. It’s not like they were in some funeral home or something.

  29. fightingbluehen says:

    ….and what’s all this not raised properly, no class, white trash stuff about? Who are you guys, the snob brigade or something?

  30. pandora says:

    Someone shoot me if I ever have the gall to tell people at a funeral how to grieve. Seriously, someone wasn’t raised right.

  31. cassandra m says:

    Who are you guys, the snob brigade or something?

    If you are here trying to take a stand for some petty belligerence over an insignificant handshake in a roomful of people who wouldn’t be all that happy to shake your hand. It isn’t as if you demonstrate any behavior here that should inspire admiration or friendship. But how horrible are your manners that you think that “a handshake is just a handshake” is somehow the end of the world.

    But how about all of these GOP Presidents shaking hands with the world’s tyrants? Many of these are worse than either of the Castro Brothers. But how about that Nixon shaking hands with Raoul?

  32. fightingbluehen says:

    I used to be raised proper like you guys.

    About thirty years ago or so, I was at some little white trash get together up in New York ,I think they used to call them cotillions or something. Anyway, I was formally introduced to Clous von Bulow. Yeah, I shook his hand.

    Wouldn’t do it now though.

  33. fightingbluehen says:

    Casandra, I never said how horrible it was for Obama to shake his hand. I just said that I wouldn’t do it. That’s why I said I can only speak for myself, right?

  34. fightingbluehen says:

    “Someone shoot me if I ever have the gall to tell people at a funeral how to grieve. Seriously, someone wasn’t raised right.”

    What the hell are you talking about?

  35. cassandra_m says:

    That’s fine, fbh — it is why we keep calling you ill-mannered.

  36. pandora says:

    I’m talking about this:

    Anyway, it’s kind of hard to make a scene in a football stadium filled with thousands of people dancing. It’s not like they were in some funeral home or something.

    Laughing, crying, dancing, silence, wailing, etc. No one has the right to dismiss people’s emotions or how they express them – no matter where the service is being held. Got it?

  37. fightingbluehen says:

    I think you are over reacting just a bit pandora.

    My point was, and I think it was pretty clear, that this was a huge venue with lots of people, and I don’t think that two people not shaking hands or whatever, would interfere with the services.

  38. pandora says:

    The only thing that interfered with the service is the right wing nuts making an issue over a handshake. There was a point to this service… one that obviously escapes you.

  39. pandora says:

    And… LOL! I’m the one overreacting???

  40. fightingbluehen says:

    Kim Jong Un is in the news again for having his uncle executed. Apparently he wasn’t clapping with enough enthusiasm towards the young dictator.
    I don’t think I would shake Kim Jong Un’s hand either.

  41. cassandra_m says:

    that this was a huge venue with lots of people, and I don’t think that two people not shaking hands or whatever, would interfere with the services.

    This was a Receiving Line, Mr. Cotillion, where following the usual social graces is a low risk event. But then, if Obama had NOT shaken the man’s hand, then wingnut central would have told you to freak out about the lack of manners from the President of the United States.

  42. fightingbluehen says:

    Yeah, sure. The President has to perform his duties, I see this.

    I’m not the President so I have the right to give my opinion about who I would shake hands with, or not , don’t I?
    I’m on my second bottle of Bourbon County Stout ,so I won’t be commenting further……Mr Cotillion is it now?….I’m going to enjoy that for the remainder of the night as I watch “The High Chaparral.” I’m a fancy boy.

Switch to our mobile site