Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Mark Luedtke has as much credibility as Don Rasmussen (et al.)

Mark Luedtke Mark Luedtke The Dayton City Paper is now featuring a column, “Conspiracy Theorist,” by their regular contributor Mark Luedtke, who also often takes the “Right” side in their regular Debate Forum feature. Luedtke bills himself on his LinkedIn profile as the “Best Damn Writer at Dayton City Paper.” DCP puts a disclaimer on his Conspiracy Theorist column, saying that the views expressed in it “are published strictly for entertainment purposes only,” and with what Luedtke writes it seems he really must just be trying to get laughs.

In this week’s column, “It’s the Candidate, Stupid!,” Luedtke writes about the recent presidential election. Luedtke provides a lot of material one could analyze but the most entertaining sentence in his column (written “for entertainment purposes only”) is this:

Rasmussen reports that Americans favor repeal of Obamacare by 15 points.

Luedtke goes on to talk about Mitt Romney’s credibility or lack thereof, but by citing, of all pollsters, Don Rasmussen, Luedtke demonstrates a lack of credibility himself.

There are plenty of polls about whether Americans support the Affordable Care Act, including a post-election one by the Kaiser Family Foundation (see this Washington Post article, “Poll: Support for Obamacare repeal is plumetting”), but the pollster Luedtke chooses to bolster his arguments about Obamacare is the same one who said, a week before the election, “The most entertaining fall-out will be the recriminations of pollsters and polling generally in the wake of Romney’s 330+ electoral vote win next Tuesday.”

Switch out one name in that sentence—Obama for Romney—and Don Rasmussen would look remarkably prescient. Rasmussen got the entertainment part right, but the entertainment’s all at his expense and that of other pundits (see also the “Pundit Shaming” tumblr).

Luedtke didn’t share Rasmussen’s disadvantage of writing before the election. Luedtke was analyzing the election after the fact and yet in arguing against Obamacare chose to ignore the most important poll of all, the election itself. President Obama was re-elected and the Senate remains in Democratic hands. That doesn’t look to me as if Americans overwhelmingly favor repeal of Obamacare.

Rasmussen was right about the “entertaining fall-out” and “the recriminations of pollsters” after the election. People are asking why people like Jennifer Rubin and Karl Rove still have jobs.

Locally one might also ask why Mark Luedtke still has a job at the Dayton City Paper, but luckily for him he writes “strictly for entertainment purposes only.”

Tuesday, April 17th, 2007

If you see this woman off-campus, you might assume she's armed.

If you're a gun-toting homicidal maniac with ties to Wright State and thinking of pulling a Virginia Tech there, you might steer clear of the departments of Religion, Philosophy and Classics, whose secretary is in favor of allowing (properly licensed, I assume) people to bring concealed weapons on campus and has seen the announcement by Wright State President David Hopkins of a special observance honoring the Virginia Tech victims as an opportunity to lobby for Wright State's ban on concealed weapons to be lifted:

From: Siobhan Semmett
Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2007 8:14 PM
To: David R. Hopkins
Subject: Re: [OFFICIAL-L] Observance Honoring Victims of Virginia Tech Tragedy

Dr. Hopkins,

I am speaking only for myself here: I believe everyone at Wright State would be far safer if the restriction against conceal carry on campus were abolished.

One mature individual, registered with the police and trained in the use of firearms, might well have prevented the carnage at Virginia Tech. Such an individual would not legally be permitted to carry a weapon at WSU. In the case of such an horrific event, all of us are, like the VT victims, essentially defenseless until the police eventually arrive.

It seems to me that the students & faculty of VT were victimized twice, once by their assailant, and once by the administration which had decided that they were somehow better off being completely unable to defend themselves.

Lifting the ban on conceal carry would add an extra measure of safety to whatever plans the university already has in place.

Thank you.
Siobhan Semmett

On the other hand, if you are in fact planning an attack, you might want to go before the ban's lifted and while this secretary is still defenseless.

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

Now you may think it strange, but I subscribe to the American Family Association's free Action Alerts. AFA's Founder and Chairman, Donald E. Wildmon, takes time to send me warnings of various things going on that threaten the moral foundation of our nation and gives me links through which I can write the appropriate politicians or businesspeople to urge them to take action to stop whatever indecent behavior Donald is warning about.

In the past few months Donald has warned me of Charlie Sheen's desecration of Christmas, of Fox's deliberate display of the F-word (fuck, not faggot) during prime time television, of our tax dollars supporting inappropriate art at the Sundance Film Festival, of the need to make English our official language, of Discovery Channel's slamming of Christianity by its speculatory "documentary" about the family of Jesus, and of Ford Motor Company's cessation and then renewal of support for the homosexual agenda. Each time I've taken advantage of Donald's links and e-mailed personal notes to the various individuals involved, but Donald would probably be disappointed to know that I don't take AFA's suggested wording but instead say what I personally feel. Donald and I often disagree about what's actually a threat to our nation's morals.

Screen shot of gay pride paraders in Dallax, TX last year Just now I've received Donald's latest warning, about the proposed law that would extend federal hate crimes protection to cover crimes committed on the basis of sexual orientation, and I'm shocked, absolutely shocked, to find that Donald Wildmon is a liar. His ActionAlert today includes a link to a page with "highly offensive" footage from last year's gay pride parade in Dallas, Texas (to the right you can see a screenshot showing some of the offensive activity). On that page, Donald makes two claims in bold, both of which are lies:

  • The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act would increase protection for the kind of activity shown on this video.

    Sorry, Donald, but the law does no such thing. The LLEHCPA says nothing about the legality of activities in gay pride parades. If having sex in public is illegal in a particular jurisdiction, the LLEHCPA will not make it legal. What the LLEHCPA does say is that if you beat up or kill gay people because you find their behavior "highly offensive," you've committed a hate crime.

  • If this "hate crimes" bill is passed, and you publicly protest, complain or oppose the type of activity in this video, your action could eventually be construed to be subject to prosecution for a criminal act.

    This to me is the most offensive lie. The LLEHCPA does not ban speech or demonstrations. If the AFA wants to picket gay pride parades and say that homosexual behavior is offensive and immoral, the AFA will still legally be able to do so. The LLEHCPA merely says that if you physically attack people based on such a belief, you're committing a hate crime.

Surely the AFA doesn't want to beat up or kill homosexuals or advocate that others do so. Perhaps they're just opposed to the concept of hate crimes in general. Even some gay people oppose hate crimes legislation. But if the AFA disapproved of hate crimes legislation, surely they'd be advocating repealing it altogether for all groups, instead of just making that you can bash a queer without doing any extra time.

Tuesday, May 25th, 2004
I subscribe to an e-mail list that distributes gay-related news articles carried in mainstream publications. Letters to the editors of these publications commenting on gay issues are also included. As you might imagine, some of these letters can be quite hateful. A fun thing to do is to look up the addresses of the authors of such letters and send them a Jesus loves you postcard.

Karen Horan of Rapid City, South Dakota is the latest lucky recipient of one. Karen wrote to the Rapid City Journal to say, "I'm so sick of the whole gay issue I could puke! You all should have stayed in the closet."

Poor Karen probably hasn't heard of the Internet and thus doesn't know that her special sentiments have been made available to queers all over the country, and she also probably doesn't realize that her name and address (and phone number, although seriously I would not recommend calling her) are available to anyone who knows how to use an online phone directory.

Boy, won't Karen be surprised when she gets my postcard telling her that regrettably I won't be able to comply with her wish that I go back in the closet. If she hasn't vomited on my postcard after that, she'll see my questions about whether anyone has asked her to become a lesbian or to watch two men having sex and whether she had to march for the right to marry her husband. Lastly, I thank her for being concerned about what God thinks I should do and remind her what Jesus wants her to do, namely to love God and to love her neighbors, and I ask if she thinks Jesus wants her to tell her gay neighbors that she pukes at the thought of them?

What makes the postcard complete is the postscript, which reminds Karen that "Jesus loves you, and so do I!" Who could puke at that? If she doesn't fall to her knees crying and begging Jesus for forgiveness, I'm really going to be surprised.

By the way, in addition to being cheaper to send than a letter or card, a postcard also ensures that the recipient knows that his or her postal carrier has read the message too. Of course, the recipient's children may also see the card, so be sure to keep the message polite and civil.
Tuesday, April 13th, 2004
I don't have the type of blog where I post links every day to interesting articles I've found, but today I do have an interesting article to point out. As many of you may know, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia practically went apoplectic last June when his colleagues ruled not only are sodomy laws unconstitutional that ban only same-sex sodomy (equal protection clause anyone?) but also are laws banning consensual private sodomy regardless of gender.

To be fair, Scalia gets apoplectic about lots of things, not just gay sex. He also gets rather upset if reporters, exercising their constitutional right to freedom of the press, make audio (only God knows what Scalia would do if he saw a video camera) recordings of his speeches. Recently Scalia ordered the federal marshalls who protect him to force two reporters to erase tapes they recorded of a speech Scalia gave.

The article about this that I liked so much is by Dahlia Lithwick, who covers the Supreme Court for Slate. She points out that not only were the marshalls' actions in this situation probably unconstitutional but that the marshalls regularly take illegal actions at the orders of the Supreme Court justices (an excuse that didn't work so well for Germans who'd taken orders from Hitler).

I find it ironic that conservatives don't find their own inconsistencies ironic. The government should stay out of people's lives, unless the people are having gay sex. Equal protection should be upheld, unless it would lead to gay marriage. And Lithwick points out a new one: the constitutional rights to due process and freedom of the press and freedom of speech should be upheld, except in the cases of reporters covering Justice Scalia's speeches.

She ends her commentary by saying "The real problem is that there is a small army of state officials who don't seem to be playing by a rulebook. They simply act at the caprice of our judges, and this should not be tolerated." What are you going to do about it? Tolerate it? Or write a letter to your congressperson?
Friday, February 6th, 2004
I read today on The Only Juan that Bob Taft, signing Ohio's DOMA into law, said that "it is important that our message be one of tolerance, free of prejudice."

Free of the prejudice that decided gay marriage is the end of civilization? One of the tolerance that decided even giving medical benefits to same sex partners of state employees is too tolerant?

It makes me wonder if Ohio's Log Cabin Republicans think they've had a success today in their goal "to remove hypocrisy and bigotry from the policies and structures of our party, our government, and our community." I'm guessing that'd be a no.
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