Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Because Bullies are God's Friends

By BJ Bjornson

I�m a little late getting around to this one, but the story still manages to raise my ire, and Sunday seemed like a good day to write about it.

Concerned about school bullying, and motivated by the suicide of a student, Matt Epling, who was driven to the act by prolonged bullying, the Michigan legislature tried to put together �Matt�s Safe School Law�. It has passed, but there�s nothing to be cheerful about. The Republicans and Christians turned it into a bullying protection act. First, the Republicans gutted it.

This year, Republicans only agreed to consider an anti-bullying measure that did not require school districts to report bullying incidents, did not include any provisions for enforcement or teacher training, and did not hold administrators accountable if they fail to act.

So the bill does nothing. It�s the Republican equivalent of saying, �tut, tut.�

Then the Christian element got to work and added a critical clause.

On Wednesday, the Republican-controlled state senate passed an anti-bullying bill that manages to protect school bullies instead of those they victimize. It accomplishes this impressive feat by allowing students, teachers, and other school employees to claim that �a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction� justifies their harassment.

We all know what that�s about. It�s all about giving the church kids permission to torment the gay kids. That clause is nothing but bigotry in disguise.

I was going to add a rant of my own, but Charles P. Pierce says it all far better.

In a very real way, this one passage in one piece of really bad legislation is the entire raison d'etre of American "conservatism," and of the political party that it has turned into its mindless vehicle over the past four decades. Every element of the "movement" is in there. There's religious paranoia and cultural sociopathy combining to produce a completely irrational sense of victimhood. There's the carefully chosen choice of targets, and the subsequent inflation of that target into the "real" threat from the "real" oppressors. And then, finally, there's the framing of legislation to say one thing, but mean another, while maintaining your inherent right as one of society's overdogs to do pretty much anything you want. You play the victim to reinforce your own long-established privilege.

As with everything else in what has become the conservative movements� twisted mind, the only real threat out there is those nasty liberals trying to take away their God-given right to be bigots

If I wasn�t already quite certain that he didn�t exist, that alone would be sufficient to convince me their god is one I wouldn�t want to follow.

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