Politics and Prose: Dr. Eric Motley- Interviewing Elaine Pagels: ‘Why Religion’

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Source:Politics and Prose– Dr. Eric Motley, interviewing author Elaine Pagels at Politics and Prose in Washington 

Source:The Daily Review

As someone who is Agnostic and proud of it who believes in reason, science, facts, and only has faith in people, things, institutions that I trust based on the evidence that I’ve seen from being around them and talking to them, I can actually see why people would be attracted in religion. As someone who believes in the First Amendment which includes the Freedom of Religion in America, ( sorry Hippies, I’m not spiritualist and I’m not a Communist either ) I can see why people would want religion, be involved in America, and even need it. I guess the difference between an Agnostic and an Atheist, especially a fundamentalist Atheist ( and yes, there is such a thing ) like a Communist to use as an example.

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Source:Good Reads– From author Elaine Pagels 

This is not an official definition, but that might only be because there isn’t any official definition of religion, but my personal definition of religion is basically basic set of moral values that people believe and follow, as well as the belief in God. Now, depending on what religion you are a member of determines what moral values that you believe in and follow that helps you in your life. I can easily see how people can get positive benefits from being a part of a religion and get positive benefits from attending church and listening to their religious leader every week give a sermon, especially when they’re going through rough times and need help getting through those tough times. Even though religion is not for me and I prefer to use evidence and reason to get through those tough times in our lives.

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Source:C-SPAN– Author Elaine Pagels, on C-SPAN 

Elaine Pagels, lost both her son and husband in the span of a year back in 1987-88, apparently wasn’t very religious before those tragedies in her life, but found religion after that and I can understand someone who goes through those tragedies especially in such a short period of time would feel the need to get help from religion and learn about that and try to figure out for themselves why they’re being put through those tragedies one following by another. Religion, has been used by alcoholics to get over their alcoholism. It’s been used to help career criminals who are doing long-term prison sentences get their life going on a positive track so once they’re finally out of prison they can become positive members of their community once they’re free. As much as I might hate religious fundamentalism in all forms, ( and trust me, I do ) people should also understand and beware of the positive aspects of religious life as well.

Politics and Prose: Dr. Eric Motley- Interviewing Elaine Pagels: ‘Why Religion’

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The Washington Post: RFK Stadium- Past, Present, Future?

The Washington Football Factory
Source:The New Democrat Plus– The Washington Football Factory

Source:The Daily Review

I’m not an architect obviously, but one of the great things about RFK Stadium is that it wouldn’t have to be torn down. It is on a great property and piece of land and what the Redskins are flirting with right now is simply renovating it, or rebuilding it. But knocking out the skyboxes and press box level and the upper deck. Leaving in the lower bowl with those flexible seats that go up and down and then adding new decks of seats on top of the lower bowl and building a much larger stadium. Somewhere ninety-thousand seats or so, because Washington is big wealthy city in a huge wealthy market that loves their Redskins even when they’re losing. The future of the Redskins is not in Landover, or North Virginia, but in downtown Washington at the new RFK which would be right at where the current RFK is.

Worst case scenario, the city knocks down the current RFK, but rebuilds a new one on the same site, but that has about twice as many seats and perhaps a retractable roof on top and bring the Super Bowl to the nation’s capital for the first time ever. Which is long overdue considering how great a city and market this is. Which the new RFK hosting college football and even bowl games, perhaps even bowl playoff games, perhaps the Maryland Terrapins would play Navy and Virginia every year. Maybe Penn State every other year. As well as a lot of other events during the NFL offseason to keep the money coming into this new huge stadium. That could become the best downtown big city football stadium in America and give Washington something New York doesn’t have. Which is a downtown NFL stadium to call its own.

I’m lucky being born and growing up watching football when I did. Because I remember all three Super Bowl Championships the Redskins won, plus the one they lost to the Los Angeles Raiders. So I know RFK Stadium very well and how much it has meant to this great franchise. Where it was probably the toughest place to win a road game at least in the NFC East in the 1980s, if not the NFC and NFL as well. Because Washington sports fans are so loyal to their winners and so crazy when the Redskins win to the point that opposing head coach has to ask the referee to tell the fans to shut up so his team can hear the plays and be able to talk to his team. That has been missing ever since the Redskins left RFK for Landover, but is something that the Redskins and should bring back. And be used to return the Redskins back to being an annual winner and championship contender. Which is where Washington expects the Redskins to be.
Jose Umana: RFK Stadium- Past, Present, Future?

University of California Television: An Evening with Christopher Buckley 2009: Interviewed by Dean Nelson

Great Political Humorist
Great Political Humorist

Source: University of California Television: An Evening with Christopher Buckley 2009: Interviewed by Dean Nelson

I like Chris Buckley’s line saying that it is unfair for satirists, because they are now in competition with USA Today. Applying that a lot of jokes come true, or as I would put it, get elected. We do now have a Congress that represents America. Not exactly the best of America, I hope now anyway. Or maybe I’ll join Alec Baldwin the next time he threatens, or is generous enough to leave America. USA Today, in the business of news and report serious issues. Satirists, are in the business to make fun of what’s going on and life in general. The problem for satirists is that USA Today and other news organizations now report on a lot of things that look like comedy. Like the government shutting down, because the House of Representatives can’t get the President to repeal his own signature legislation.

Sarah Palin, who I actually have a lot of respect for as a satirist, comedian and a beautiful women, even if someone who has just graduated from high school is more qualified to be either President, or Vice President of the United States, is the perfect example of satire, or a real-life comedy story. In Supreme Courtship, Chris Buckley, writes about a fictional character from Texas, a very attractive female judge who loves firearms and the Southwestern Texas lifestyle. Sarah Palin, who other than being from Alaska instead of Texas, has a lot in common with the fictional Texas judge. A very attractive women with a keen sense of humor, from rural Alaska, who loves the country lifestyle and is a big fan of guns, who has a great personality. But who is more qualified to be a fictional TV character than Vice President of the United States. And yet she’s nominated for Vice President by the candidate who comes within a few large states of winning the presidency.

As I’ve blogged before you can’t follow Washington politics and that is national politics and I’m sure Washington city politics as well, without a sense of humor. Unless you have a lot of money that you don’t know what to do with and decide to spend all that money on shrinks and vacations at mental institutions as a patient. Because you’re suffering from a severe case of depression. Because there’s so much nonsense (to be nice, bullshit to be accurate) that happens here that we all pay for.

U.S. Senators, who rather be president to the point that they their main job becomes running for president, instead of serving their people in Congress that the taxpayers have to pay for. A taxpayer-funded Defense Department that is so big that it can’t be audited. One f the funniest true stories of all-time. Taxpayer Congressional investigations that purely designed to hurt the leading presidential candidate from the other party. The largest entitlement programs in the world that are going broke if they’re not fixed. That no one in Congress has the balls to actually fixed, because that might mean that they have to go home and find a real job. That they’re a lot less qualified for.

But again the problem with satirists and people who write satiric books for a living about current affairs, is that it becomes harder to find new stories to write about even if you think you have something that is really funny. Because chances are that story is actually true, or something very similar to that has already happened. Tobacco companies have said under oath that tobacco is not addicted. Which was the story in Chris Buckley’s Thank You For Smoking.

We actually do have a Congress that makes con man, used car salesman, personal injury attorney’s, gold diggers, look popular. As well as the nerd in class whose hand is always up to not only answer every question, but answers the questions that the teacher puts to other students and then wonders why they never have any money for lunch, or are always getting kicked in the butt, because their lunch money is always stolen and they’re wearing a kick men sign on their butt.

The thing about Washington and American government is that jokes are not just funny, but they get elected and a lot funny made for Hollywood stories actually come true. You would go nuts and became Michelle Bachmann’s roommate at a mental institution if you couldn’t laugh about it. But that is democracy for you and as the great political satirist George Carlin said, “politicians are a reflection of the people.” They’re not God, or aliens from another planet, or even robots. (Even if they look and act like them for their lobbyists) And they represent the best and worst of us.

Hoover Institution: Uncommon Knowledge: Anything Goes with Chris Buckley

Great Political Humorist
Great Political Humorist

Source: Hoover Institution: Uncommon Knowledge: Anything Goes with Chris Buckley

Chris Buckley, (and I call him Chris because we’ve never met before) is one of my favorite political satirists along with P.J. O’Rourke, Dennis Miller and now Bill Maher. Since he’s ditched the Far-Left when it comes to free speech and other big government social issues and is still one of the best critics of the Christian-Right and broader Far-Right in America. I like Buckley, because like George Carlin who makes fun of people and things that deserve to be made fun of. He’s not John Fugelsang, who only makes fun of right-wingers when it comes to politics. Buckley makes fun of politicians and Washington in general. I mean it’s a city that doesn’t need any heat and humidity, even though we get a lot of it every year, because of all the hot air that comes out of our 535 member Congress. That has both a House and a Senate.

American politics is very easy to be make fun of. You can literally make a career of doing it and a lot of people like Chris Buckley have. And even if you come to politics with a strong ideological bent and you have a good sense of humor, you’re denying yourself a lot of great material and perhaps employment and financial opportunities if you just concentrate on one side of the aisle. I mean how you only make fun of Sarah Palin and Donald Trump and never take a shot at Dennis Kucinich. Whose the president of the Republic of Dreamland and sees a world that only exist in make-believe. Where there’s no violence, or ignorance, or poor people. Who believes the old hippie saying of Give Peace a Chance should be the our national foreign policy. And that the use of force is never an option even when we’re under attack. “If we don’t hit them back, maybe they’ll get bored and go away.”

Again, something I love about Chris Buckley who I see as a non-partisan political humorist, he’s someone who at least leans right if he’s not a Conservative and yet he looks at politics and politicians for what they are. The George W. Bush Administration, comes into office as what they called compassionate conservatives (as if Conservatives aren’t compassionate) and lives up to that as best as possible. And spends more money than a convention of Irish drunken sailors could spend at their favorite Irish bar. With the two unpaid for wars and the seven-hundred-billion-dollar Medicare expansion, all of this borrowed. And he didn’t like that about President Bush, as well as going to war on bogus evidence (to be real nice) and the mismanagement of that war even after it was found there were no WMD in that country. And those weapons were probably destroyed by the United Nations, or our own people in the late 1990s. Again, how you not make fun of a President like that?

If you live in Washington and are involved in it politically in some way nationally whether you work, or write about it, it is really the last place you should try to take yourself, or people around you especially your allies too seriously. I’m a Liberal Democrat and I could write something negative and funny about Hillary Clinton everyday. As well as her husband, not that I don’t like Hillary and that I still don’t love President Clinton. But lets face it, they’re both great political characters. Hillary, doesn’t know who she it until she sees the latest poll. Bill, still hasn’t gotten the memo that he’s no longer President and that he’s still ineligible to run for President again still tries to run everything. And I could write something negative and funny everyday about the United States Circus, better known as the Republican Party. And I think that is where Chris Buckley goes. He makes fun of people and things that deserve to be made fun of. Regardless of political affiliation.

The Daily Beast: This Week In Punditry, February 3rd, 2013

Three Big Assholes
Three Big Assholes

Source: The Daily Beast: This Week In Punditry, February 3rd, 2013

This week in punditry. Lets see where should I start. Well we just had a week with plenty of punditry in it, oh you want more than that. Not sure why, but here it is if you want it, you’ve been warned. Well we had a Secretary of State step down, because she has better things to do than manage our foreign policy. I know right, what’s more important than that. Well she has another book to write and needs to decide if she wants to be President of the United States, or not. Wait, that’s more important ,but of course its her decision.

And I wish Secretary Hillary Clinton well with her new Gabby Giffords look in how she where’s her glasses. And I congratulate her with her service to the country the last four years by leaving Congress and not running for President and taking on President Obama. And the Democratic Party thanks her for that as well. Lets see what else happened, oh yeah we had a Secretary of Defense confirmation hearing, as if it’s not interesting enough that we would have a Liberal Democrat nominate a Conservative Republican for Secretary of Defense. But the fact that Chuck Hagel forgot to put caffeine in his morning coffee, or forgot to go to bed the night before and forgot to bring his memory, because not all of Chuck Hagel was at that hearing.

Did I also mention that Fox News claimed to be a serious news organization. No seriously I know when have they ever reported any news at all and that Fox News still remains the most trusted name in news. Well for the Republican Party anyway, but don’t take that very seriously. Because they also believe that it’s still 1955 and that President Ronald Reagan never raised any taxes. And that homosexuality was invented ten years ago and that Barack Obama is an African Muslim Socialist from Kenya. So take all of that for what its worth, borrow a dollar if you have to. Or use that money to actually buy something of value. But Fox News is as much of a news organization as Pat Robertson is a supporter of gay rights in America. And to be fair MSNBC is not much of a news organization either, but two cable networks that serve as mouthpieces for the two major political party’s in America.

What else happened this week. Oh yes Rush Limbaugh who apparently still hasn’t died from a heart attack yet, declared that since the mainstream media won’t cover the real news in America, you know anything negative towards Barack Obama and other Democrats and if you can’t find something, make something up, because of course there’s always negative info about Democrats. It just hasn’t been found yet, that if the mainstream media doesn’t do a job on Democrats, that Rush and his allies will.

Rush Limbaugh is about as much of a reporter as Ron Paul is a Socialist, it’s simply not believable. But the good thing for Rush is that as much as he may hate it, as well as the rest of the country may hate having Rush living in America, he lives in a liberal democracy with freedom of speech and beliefs. Thats the way it is as Walter Cronkite the famous CBS News anchor always said to close the Evening News. A big week for a lot of people and more evidence of why we need to fully fund mental health care in America. And have a better public education system with all of the nutty and ignorant people we have on both sides of the aisle.