I was a hard-core Sesame Street viewer from about 1979 to 1984, and my memories of the show are the sort of deep nostalgic tangle you'd expect, with a great deal of idiosyncratic noise blended into the signal. So, for many years, I carried around a vague but emotionally vivid recollection of a Sesame Street episode in which Big Bird and Snuffleupagus had witnessed the the passage of a soul to the ancient Egyptian afterlife, complete with the weighing of the human heart against a feather. I shit you not.
For all those years, I just assumed that I was nuts, or that I was conflating a memory of a childhood dream with a childhood television experience. Not long ago, I was trading Sesame Street memories with that girl I like, and I determined to Google-fu my way to the truth.
In the 1983 special Don't Eat the Pictures, assorted humans and Muppets are stuck overnight in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. While Oscar, Bob, Cookie Monster, Olivia, and some small children are having the sort of mild and educational adventures you'd expect, Big Bird and Snuffy meet Sahu, a 4,000-year-old Egyptian prince (!) condemned to wander eternally in spirit form (!!) unless he can answer a riddle posed by a demon (!!!) that appears to him each night at midnight. I am not fucking with you. This really happened.
ACTUAL DIALOGUE from Big Bird: "Oh no! The demon's gonna be here any second now!" And here's the appearance of that demon, played by James motherfucking Mason.
Your recent statement has perverted every single thing I believed Scouts were about.
Let's examine BSA National's opinions on gay and/or atheist Scouts in light of the Scout Law.
A Scout is:
Trustworthy: Excluding former Scouts that happen to be gay or atheist obviates trust.
Loyal: Excluding former Scouts that happen to be gay or atheist makes a mockery of loyalty.
Helpful: Exclusion is helpful, how?!
Friendly: BSA National is the opposite of friendly to our gay and atheist Scouts.
Courteous: Announcing their annoyance and lack of brotherhood with gay Scouts is the opposite of courtesy.
Kind: You have to be fucking kidding me.
Obedient: Oh, and here's the rub, BSA National. There's being obedient to your dictates, or being obedient to the actual Scout Law. You lose.
Cheerful: Not applicable.
Thrifty: Not applicable.
Brave: Those Eagles who have returned their medals/badges are brave as hell. Those who retain them to beat the heck out of you from inside, no less so. The only ones not brave here, BSA National, is *you*.
Clean: Not applicable.
Reverent: I interpret this as a respect for religious beliefs, even if they are not my own. Thus, I am reverent when a Buddhist or a Methodist or a Muslim or a Quaker evinces religious belief. That encompasses the possibility of rejection of any belief. Any atheist, who respects the beliefs of someone they deal with (even if they think those beliefs are misguided) is okay in my book.
To sum up: It is my belief that Scouting makes better men than you, BSA National. Better than the organization's stated opinions. Better than your fear and your idiocy.
Chad Underkoffler, Eagle Scout 1987, Troop 1305, ATC
Enforce federal 501(c)(3) regulations by removing the tax-exempt status from churches that engage in political activity. Since 2008, pastors of some churches have openly supported and advocated specific political candidates in sermons to members in early October in an event referred to as "Pulpit Freedom Sunday". According to Reuters, videos of these sermons are sent to the offices of the IRS.
According to section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, the provision of the tax code from which these churches derive their tax-exempt status, a compliant organization must not "participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of ... any candidate for public office."
The IRS has failed to remove the tax-exempt status of these churches despite their violations of tax code. This must change, and the law must be applied equally to everyone.
Stop Wall Street banks from gambling with our money The recent news that JP Morgan Chase lost at least $2 billion in a matter of weeks on hugely risky bets shows once again that we need to rein in Wall Street and stop the banks from gambling with our money.
For over half a century, the Depression-era law known as the Glass-Steagall Act kept commercial banks (where we have our checking accounts, saving accounts and the like) separate from high-risk investment banks.
The government agreed to insure the deposits we make in commercial banks through the FDIC, but banks weren't allowed to turn around and use these deposits as stakes in the Wall Street casino.
That all changed in 1999 with the repeal of Glass-Steagall, which paved the way for the financial crisis and the massive Wall Street bailouts.
If private investors want to use their own money to make risky bets on Wall Street, that should be up to them. Ultimately, they're risking their own money.
But when these giant banks take on more risk than they should, they do so knowing that they can keep any profits they make if things go well, but that ultimately U.S. taxpayers are on the hook if things go terribly wrong. That creates a perverse incentive for them to be massively irresponsible.
When Congress passes Wall Street reform in 2010, it was supposed to end precisely this type of "heads they win, tails we lose" scenario. But the Volcker Rule that was supposed to address this, still hasn't been finalized and looks like it will be riddled with loopholes.
Tell Congress that we need a new Glass-Steagall Act that reinstates the firewall between the banks we use to keep our money safe and the all Street banks that make risky investments. Click below to sign the petition:
The Obama campaign apparently didn’t look backwards into history when selecting its new campaign slogan, “Forward” — a word with a long and rich association with European Marxism.
No, really. Tell me more.
Many Communist and radical publications and entities throughout the 19th and 20th centuries had the name “Forward!” or its foreign cognates. Wikipedia has an entire section called “Forward (generic name of socialist publications).”
“The name Forward carries a special meaning in socialist political terminology. It has been frequently used as a name for socialist, communist and other left-wing newspapers and publications,” the online encyclopedia explains.
The slogan “Forward!” reflected the conviction of European Marxists and radicals that their movements reflected the march of history, which would move forward past capitalism and into socialism and communism.
Get outa town.
Just read the rest of the excerpt that the Washington Monthly has on its site (at the link above, obviously). It's boggling. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll kiss our civilization goodbye.
Their stated excuse is that they don't want to be associated with an organization under Congressional investigation. Of course, the reason Planned Parenthood is under Congressional investigation is that Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) wants to stop funding to Planned Parenthood. For more info, click this diary at dKos.
As TBogg, linked at the top, says:
It’s rare when you see such a high profile organization shit the bed so spectacularly particularly in the case where people can not only refuse to donate to the Komen Foundation, but also boycott all the products that carry the Komen Pink Ribbon of Caring logo, for which the Komen people are paid handsomely.