is older than it's ever been and now it's even older


He stepped in it, part deux

Jesse isn't the only politician making boneheaded decisions these days. Our esteemed president, George W. Bush, has been making much political hay over his proposal to create an Office of Faith Based Community Initiatives (OFBCI). Well, the shit may be about to hit the fan.

For one, community charity organizations have to abide by Federal non-discrimination statutes when they accept aid. This has already proven to be a problem in states that have similar programs, like Kentucky, where a lesbian staffer has filed suit after being fired from her government-funded job with a Christian charity. One can certainly see the problem for many religious organizations if they have to hire based on nondiscrimination statutes, since many of these religions endorse discrimination as a matter of doctrine. Bush has signaled that he will likely just exempt these organizations from non-discrimination statutes to avoid this conflict, although I can't find a link to prove that point.

For two, now it looks like Dubya will have to recognize religions he doesn't like, such as those wacky Scientologists and their kooky Narconon. Not to mention the Moonies. Talk about opening a can of worms he didn't intend. He probably didn't even consider that other faiths would want a slice of the pie. Way to go! If he was in this community, he'd likely be one of the people telling the Muslims to "go back where they came from" and not to locate their mosque in his town.

Finally, it seems like getting the government into this mess is a really bad idea because of basic problems with violating the separation of church and state. Many of the most dangerous anklebiters cling to the "nowhere does the Constitution say anything about the separation of church and state" line -- which is untrue, of course. You may ask yourselves, how does giving money to a faith based charity impact the establishment of religion? Well, as the above examples prove, it puts government in the position of assessing the relative worth of religions. Dubya doesn't want to give money to Scientologists, the ADL doesn't want to give money to the Nation of Islam, no one wants to give money to the Wiccans, and George HW Bush doesn't think atheists should be citizens. So it's probably best as a nation to stay out of it.

As a final shot to make my point, in the case of Lemon v. Kurtzman, 1971, the SCOTUS ruled that a state action can be taken as violating the Establishment clause if it causes an "excessive entanglement" with religion. If trying to sort out all of these various grasping hands at the public trough isn't excessive entanglement, I don't know what is.
You know the drill

Ohio State-Gate! The student council president at the other other OSU not only spent $2500 of students' money for a lavish steak dinner, but he also conspired to destroy campus newspapers to cover it up. Ok, that's so stupid I can't even fathom it. Did he think that the reporters and editors would then say, "wow, our newspapers are all gone, and no one seems to know about this. I guess we'd better give up on the story now!" I was in a position of authority on my college's student council for my last two years, and I never had any money to play with (although I did help get the Reverend Horton Heat to play a concert on campus once, but that was on the up-and-up).

Why does radio suck so bad? And why does the answer involve paying for it? Does that make sense to you? No matter how bad radio is, as long as there is still NPR, I'll never pay anyone (else) for it.

This story is very long, but very interesting: an account of four American kids held hostage in Kazakhstan while on a climbing expedition. Read it, and then wonder with me how long until this becomes a movie. It's gripping.

Hobbsblog II acknowledges the following blogs for source material today: Bad Hair Days, MeFi, World New York, and the Obscure Store.


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