Carnival of the Liberals

Carnival of the Liberals has bulldozed my little shanty town and set up its tents on my metaphorical village green. Some Bloodthirsty Vegetarians even took time out from a glass of Shiraz and an attempt to discover which science fiction crew they belonged to (Firefly, of course!) to put a shout out on their podcast.

There are a few things on the minds of liberal bloggers this fortnight. Political, social, and environmental problems facing the world, and what we should be doing about them. One thing that’s abundantly clear is that they’re a compassionate and moral bunch, and they see very clearly that we’re all in this together.

Nancy Jane Moore has been listening to George Bush’s September 11 anniversary speech, and she wants to set things straight: there’s a far more important issue than terrorism which should be occupying our attention right now. Stop obsessing, she says in In This Moment – terrorism is a difficult problem, but it’s a difficult law enforcement problem and there’s something which we all need to get to work on.

Adam at Daylight Atheism agrees with Nancy that we’re all in this together. What’s more, he says, we’re all in one sense citizens of The Third World, and have a moral obligation to assist each other.

Gracchi from Westminster Wisdom considers the dilemma of the liberal intellectuals: to work for evolutionary change by siding with the lesser evil against the greater, or to maintain integrity by standing on principle at the cost of being rejected out of hand. Is it better to be Orwell or Chomsky?

Meanwhile The Ridger at The Greenbelt has been thinking about Good and Evil too. She’s worried that good is succumbing to the temptation to use evil means. In fact she thinks Bush has redefined “good” to mean anything the US does – and once you do that there’s no going back.

Austin Cline from About Agnosticism / Atheism is obviously on the side of Good in any eschatalogic battle – so much so that he’s made up some propaganda posters to help out the religious right. He’s submitted one that’s perfect for when you’re playing on people’s fear of homosexuals, but should he ever turn to the dark side there are a number of useful talking points here in wonderful 40′s recruiting poster style.

If recruiting posters have come through from the past, Ion Zwitter is channelling newspapers from the future, where Donald Rumsfeld has found a novel spin on the situation in Iraq: “Nearly 21 million Iraqis have not yet been killed”. That’s what I call a glass half full kind of guy!

Speaking of the news, David Ng has a rambling, wonderful post at Science Creative Quarterly about the problems we face and the need to get past the spin and be really informed if we are to solve them. Be Very Afraid, he says.

The Bush administration’s policies at Guantanamo worry Marcella Chester at Abyss2Hope. She takes issue with the way Michael Smerconish from Huffpost’s dismisses a need for Habeus Corpus – without it, she says, we’re no better than a lynch mob.

Joerg Wolf at Atlantic Review takes the makers of “United 93″ to task for their depiction of a German passenger in a supposedly meticulously researched film. In a world sinking into stereotype fuelled chaos this is a timely reminder.

Finally, Brandon Peele uses Hotel Rwanda to illustrate some important points about ethnocentrism – important if humans are to find a way to live in peace on this planet. He’s at GT.


It’s a serious and thoughtful collection, worthwhile and considered even in the humor – which isn’t surprising considering the state of the world. Ten articles you should read. But when this travelling show moved in it not only cleared the slum, it drove off the sheep and trampled all over the green. What we need to balance that is this fine little bucolic piece – number eleven. It’s utterly charming, and it’s all about Saving the Ribble.

In two weeks the trailers will be packed, the oxen hitched, and the carnival is off to The World Wide Webers on October 11. So if you’re feeling inspired by this lot, maybe you can run away and join a carnival.

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