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White Evangelicals Believe in Nothing

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These people are nihilists. by Rich Smith

Except for that whites are the best. And boyz rule. And America is #1.
These people are nihilists. Chip Somodevilla / Getty

Nice bit of eye-popping, soul-crushing, but ultimately predictable data journalism in The New York Times from Thomas B. Edsall this morning. According to a recent poll, during Obama's second term an overwhelming majority of white evangelicals thought immoral politicians couldn't do their jobs, but now an overwhelming majority of white evangelicals think immoral politicians can do their jobs.

Here's a nice little graph to illustrate that claim, which would serve perhaps just as well to illustrate the capriciousness of the Republican moral conscience:


I wonder what changed? Oh yeah, the President is white now.

So it's not that they believe in nothing, they just don't believe in what they say they believe in. As Edsall mentions, "all politics is identity politics," and American politics is tribal, not policy-based. So it follows that a largely segregated, majority Christian, and geographically isolated country would contain a number of voters who think that whites are the best, boys rule, and America's #1. As writers such as Ta-Nehisi Coates and Claudia Rankine have pointed out in recent articles, those racist, sexist, nationalist beliefs constitute the foundation of American ethics. However wittingly, Trump and his ghouls ran on them, and Republican politicians followed along because, again as The Times notes, Trump still enjoys high approval ratings among those who consider themselves staunchly Republican.

Another illuminating fact from Edsall: according to three recent studies, the people who identify as most strongly Republican hold the most fluid political beliefs. "For many Republicans partisan identification is more a tribal affiliation than an ideological commitment," The Times writes, citing a Brigham Young University study by Michael Barber and Jeremy C. Pope. Thus a "Republican" belief is whatever the guy at the top says it is. Democrats elect Presidents; Republicans crown kings.

These numbers provide some support for what may seem obvious to even casual observers of the news: The people who purport to be the guardians of morality are actually mindless lemmings with daddy issues who are leashed and led by the rich.


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satadru
36 minutes ago
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"Democrats elect Presidents; Republicans crown kings."
New York, NY
mareino
2 days ago
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"For many Republicans partisan identification is more a tribal affiliation than an ideological commitment."
Washington, District of Columbia
jhamill
2 days ago
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I wish there was a follow up study to see if Republicans know that they changed their beliefs so much in such a short time frame.
California
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Technicalleigh
2 days ago
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``As Edsall mentions, "all politics is identity politics," and American politics is tribal, not policy-based. So it follows that a largely segregated, majority Christian, and geographically isolated country would contain a number of voters who think that whites are the best, boys rule, and America's #1.``
SF Bay area, CA (formerly ATL)
wreichard
2 days ago
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This period will be looked back upon with great shame.
Earth

Group of 45 men dressed like Magnum, P.I. kicked out of Detroit Tigers game - LA Times

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om Selleck was the one and only Magnum, P.I.

He had the look — a Detroit Tigers cap, Hawaiian shirt and, of course, the most amazing mustache any man has ever grown — and so much more as the star of the popular 1980s TV series.

A group of 45 men at the Tigers-White Sox game Saturday tried to pull off the same look and eventually was kicked out of Comerica Park for what the team later described as “inappropriate behavior.”

What? These guys? Behaving inappropriately?

The outfits and the Tigers game were part of a bachelor party for Allen Park, Mich., resident Joe Tuccini. He told the local Fox affiliate that the team explained the group was ejected for catcalling, although he added that he thinks it was because they were a distraction from the action on the field.

Tuccini’s brother, Chris Tuccini, told the local News-Herald that he also had been informed that one member of the group had been caught smoking. "I don't know how that made us all guilty," he said.

The Tigers said in their statement: "It was inappropriate behavior; the group was given multiple warnings. They violated the code of conduct and were asked to leave and have not been banned from the park."

The group wants the team to reimburse them with tickets for a game next season and invite Selleck to join the festivities next time.

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satadru
39 minutes ago
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The brilliant book that inspired Dune author Frank Herbert

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That science-fiction extravaganza Dune allegorizes contemporary themes of imperialism, economic addiction to oil, and religious war is obvious. But it turns out that Frank Herbert's masterpiece owes much to one book in particular: Lesley Blanch's brilliant, half-forgotten Sabres of Paradise, about the warlords of the Caucasus, where Europe and Asia meet.

Anyone who has obsessed over the mythology of Dune will immediately recognize the language Herbert borrowed from Blanch’s work. Chakobsa, a Caucasian hunting language, becomes the language of a galactic diaspora in Herbert’s universe. Kanly, from a word for blood feud among the Islamic tribes of the Caucasus, signifies a vendetta between Dune’s great spacefaring dynasties. Kindjal, the personal weapon of the region’s Islamic warriors, becomes a knife favored by Herbert’s techno-aristocrats. As Blanch writes, “No Caucasian man was properly dressed without his kindjal.”

Herbert is ecumenical with his borrowing, lifting terminology and rituals from both sides of this obscure Central Asian conflict. When Paul Atreides, Dune’s youthful protagonist, is adopted by a desert tribe whose rituals and feuds bear a marked resemblance to the warrior culture of the Islamic Caucasus, he lives at the exotically named Sietch Tabr. Sietch and tabr are both words for camp borrowed from the Cossacks, the Czarist warrior caste who would become the great Christian antagonists of Shamyl’s Islamic holy warriors.

Herbert also lifted two of Dune’s most memorable lines directly from Blanch. While describing the Caucasians’ fondness for swordplay, Blanch writes, “To kill with the point lacked artistry.” In Dune, this becomes “[k]illing with the tip lacks artistry,” advice given to a young Paul Atreides by a loquacious weapons instructor. A Caucasian proverb recorded by Blanch transforms into a common desert aphorism. “Polish comes from the city, wisdom from the hills,” an apt saying for a mountain people, becomes “Polish comes from the cities, wisdom from the desert” in Dune.

It's not just words, either. The whole book -- a literary distillation of history, not rigorous scholarship -- is suffused with the weird atmosphere of Arrakis. It's free of charge on Amazon Kindle Prime right now, so Dune fans have no excuses!

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satadru
3 hours ago
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For the song's 40th anniversary, Depeche Mode covers David Bowie's 'Heroes'

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The story goes that David Bowie wrote "Heroes," with Brian Eno, after spotting a couple kissing at the Berlin Wall. The couple was Bowie's producer and engineer Tony Visconti and his girlfriend Antonia Maass:

Visconti went for a walk by the adjacent Berlin Wall with backing singer Antonia Maass, and this couple then unwittingly aided the songwriting process by indulging in what they thought was a spot of covert smooching. "David could see us, and we quickly got written into the lyrics as the lovers who kissed by the wall," Visconti admits. "He wrote the entire lyrics looking out through the windows of Hansa Studios, and when I returned after a couple of hours and asked him how it was going, he said 'Oh, I've finished.' His assistant, Coco Schwab, then took me aside and said 'I think you and Antonia are in the song.' I was married at the time, so this story was never allowed to be made public, but I don't mind now.

Bowie's performance at the wall in 1987 is said to have had a role in its destruction.

Now, for the 40th anniversary of the song's release on September 23, 1977, "Heroes" is being performed by Depeche Mode both in concert and in the studio.

(Consequence of Sound)

Previously: Hear Motorhead's edgy cover of David Bowie's 'Heroes'

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satadru
3 hours ago
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Meth-tainted 7UP has killed one person and sickened others in Mexico

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If you're in Mexico, just say no to 7UP. In Mexicali, Meth has been found in some bottles of 7UP, which, among other symptoms, can cause vomiting, burning to the abdomen and esophagus, and can make it hard to breathe. The tainted soda has killed one person and made seven others sick.

According to Snopes:

The health department of Baja California also issued a statement noting that the meth was found in 2-liter bottles of 7Up and that all stores in the area had been instructed to remove the product from their shelves.

A spokesman for Dr Pepper Snapple Group, the distributors of 7Up in the United States, said that “None of the 7Up products sold in the U.S. are affected by the issue being reported in Mexico.”

Image: Mike Mozart

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satadru
3 hours ago
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If they had just stuck with the original lithium additive... ;)
New York, NY
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Gatorade can no longer make disparaging comments about water, fined $300,000

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The State of California fined Gatorade for making a video game for kids that says, "keep your performance level high and avoid water." In the game, called Bolt!, players give Gatorade to Olympic runner Usain Bolt to increase his fuel level. If you give Bolt water, the fuel level goes down. Now they have to pay $300,000 as part of a settlement with the state.

From Oregon Live:

"Making misleading statements is a violation of California law. But making misleading statements aimed at our children is beyond unlawful, it's morally wrong and a betrayal of trust," [California Attorney General Xavier Becerra] said in a statement.

Gatorade agreed to the settlement but has not admitted wrongdoing.

"The mobile game, Bolt!, was designed to highlight the unique role and benefits of sports drinks in supporting athletic performance. We recognize the role water plays in overall health and wellness, and offer our consumers great options," spokeswoman Katie Vidaillet said in an email.

In addition to agreeing not to disparage water, Gatorade agreed not to make Bolt! or any other games that give the impression that water will hinder athletic performance or that athletes only consumer Gatorade and do not drink water. Gatorade also agreed to use "reasonable efforts" to abide by parent company PepsiCo's policy on responsible advertising to children and to disclose its contracts with endorsers.

From a 2014 report published by University of California Berkeley's Center for Weight and Health:

The Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend sports drinks as a hydration source for children and adolescents and finds that water is the best source of hydration for ordinary children engaging in routine physical activity (Schneider, 2011). The only instance when sports drinks may be indicated is for child athletes that engage in prolonged, continuous vigorous activity for more than one hour in hot weather conditions (Schneider; Meadows‐Oliver; Unnithan). The Academy of Pediatrics advises against the use of sports drinks among children due to their contribution of excess carbohydrate calories in the diet that can increase risk of becoming overweight or obese (Schneider). The Institute of Medicine recommends against providing sports drinks in schools for regular consumption and even advises against providing sports drinks to student athletes unless they are participating in prolonged, vigorous sports activities (IOM Report on Standards for School Foods, 2007).

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satadru
3 hours ago
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