Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Bush presidency: 8 years in 8 minutes




You go, Keith!

Thanks to Video Cafe.

God's gonna get us on inauguration day!

[Gary Cass with now-dead wingnut, D. James Kennedy]


Well, she is!

And you damn well know why!

Bishop Gene Robinson, that's why!



Lots of right wingnuts are upset that President-elect Obama invited the gay bishop to invocate at his inaugural festivities.

Tony Perkins says the invite is just a sop to "angry liberals." Bill Donohue, the Roman Catholic nitwit, whines that Robinson is just as offensive to Catolics as to prostetants. Peter LaBarbara complained Robinson was "an affront to faithful Christians and religious defenders of morality everywhere. We've already noted, in a previous post, that the ever-loving christianist Matt Barber is proclaiming that Obama's invite to Robinson was a "betrayal" of christianists everywhere.

Kyle, writing at Right Wing Watch, tells us that Rick Scarborough, theologian extraordinaire, has also jumped into the fray. Robinson is a "slap in the face," saith Scarborough. Not only so, but Bishop Robinson's choices are completely against the Bible he supposedly represents." [Note the word, "choices." That's christianist code denoting that homos CHOSE (just to be "different") to become "that" way even though they knew God hates queers.]

But the biggest asshat in this conference of minor minds is Gary Cass. Yup, the kook at the CADC (that's the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, and orgyinzation established because poor Xtians in this country are constantly getting beat up by lowlife atheists and fake Xtians; why they're even expected to abide by the Constitution instead of the Bible. Talk about persecution!) is warning parents everywhere to keep their children at home, inside, hidden away, eyes closed, covered up BECAUSE God's gonna rain down all kinds of horrendous horrors on Amurika!

Yup. The ass, Cass, says that "Obama's inaugural events are a major step backwards for historic Christian values. ... Don't let your children watch!"

Yup. And "Some one ought to remind him [Obama] that he wasn't elected mayor of Sodom."

Yup. And asshat is crying that "Barack Obama's inauguration will have the dubious distinction of being the most perverted in our nation's history..."

Yup. So, "... [Cass, the ass] must unfortunately recommend that you keep the kids away from the TV and pray that God will not rain down fire and brimstone down on Washington DC."


Yup! Fire and brimstone. What the hell's brimstone? Never no mind. You'd better turn off the TV entirely. Good Xtians don't need to watch no inauguration festivities which will be
overflowing with evil bishops and other perverts who claim to be Xtian but are really Satan's wolves in disguise, and a bunch of oddballs who think Obama is wunnerful but are nothing more than pawns of the damnable Democrats!


Kyle's entire article is here.

Nebraska moron gets his comeuppance by PhillyChief

First click here. You will find a blog by an ignoramus named Sam away out in Nebraska who is pissed off at atheists and other nogoodniks who are intolerant of his god and his desire to pray to Jesus in the public schools...He's also got things to say about "Darwinism," even though there is no such thing, and how atheistic folks are constantly making fun of his Bible and his beliefs, and how, in the end he doesn't mind, 'cause Jesus prophesied the mockery he's experiencing would come to all "true" believers.

Well, you oughta read the article.

PhillyChief's response:

Sam,

Freedom of opinion is a protected right in America, but in order to form the best possible opinions, you need to have accurate information to base those opinions on. You don't seem to have accurate information for your opinions so I'd like to offer that information to you.

"You atheists are rabid in your beliefs"

There's no belief system to atheism. Atheism is a response to a claim of deity existence. There's not even any rules for how to reach your conclusion. You can reach it through logic, through tea leaves, through a sixth sense, or reach it the way you (I assume) are an atheist when it comes to Thor and Vishnu, you just refuse to believe.

"You can preach your religion of Darwinism in our schools, but our Christian beliefs are forbidden."

Where do I begin? Ok first, NO religion is permitted to be preached in public schools due to the Establishment Clause of the 1st Amendment (each American should read and know their Constitution). You can teach religion, but you can't preach it.

Second, science is not a religion. Science is a process that has been successful for understanding our world and affording humanity great achievements (we are, after all, communicating right now due to science). Science's process requires hypotheses be testable and refutable. For instance, you can claim grass is purple, but such a claim is easily refuted. Now you can also claim that grass is green due to fairies, but such a claim is not scientific because it can't be tested. This is why ID was denied in the Dover case, because it's an untestable claim and thus, not science.

I wouldn't expect Shakespeare to be taught in science class, and I wouldn't expect Newton's laws to be taught in a religion class. It's just not where they belong, so aside from the unconstitutional aspect, religion simply doesn't belong in a science class.

"If you want to proclaim that we come from monkeys..."

No, chimps and humans have a common ancestor. That's different. What you're saying is like you came from your cousin, when actually you both share a grandparent. Capiche?

"Why are you afraid to let Christians give their point of view in Schools, Government, etc.?"

The Supreme Court has ruled that doing that in school is coercive. The idea is that if presented by the school, then the pov carries the weight of the school's support and by extension, the government's, when this is unconstitutional (remember that 1st Amendment?). Far from restricting you, it's actually there to protect you. In our nation's history, Catholics invoked the 1st Amendment to have their children protected from Protestant preaching in school, and various Protestants have used it to protect their children from other Protestant teachings they disagree with. I know you like the idea of debate, which is fine if everyone is on equal footing, but if the authorities are the ones who champion one pov, then that's not equal footing, is it? This is the whole point of the Establishment Clause. Again, I encourage you to read it.

Most everything else you wrote is simply opinion. I don't agree with your opinions, but so be it, but the quoted bits above were simply based on either incorrect or insufficient knowledge. I will answer a question of yours...

"What are you atheists so afraid of? Why do you get so angry?"

I would say frustrated more than angry. Frustrated by opinions based clearly on a lack of knowledge and/or understanding and frustrated by what we see as continued attacks upon the Constitution. I would say angry at decisions made which are detrimental to society which were made based on religion like Abstinence only sex ed and no distribution of contraceptives (everywhere this occurred, there was a significant rise in teen pregnancies and STDs), blocking equal rights for all Americans, blocking scientific research, and of course eroding the value of an education attainable in public schools.

Btw, the things I mentioned which inspire anger and frustration don't just affect atheists. There are many Christian groups who feel the same way, as do Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and various other groups because the sentiments don't rise from a disagreement over a religion, but rather what's done in its name. I truly wish the whole argument were simply over whether or not there were any gods. If that was all there was to argue, then there'd be little point getting angry.

-- Posted by PhillyChief on Sat, Jan 17, 2009, at 10:36 AM


Check it out at PhillyChief's blog here.

Rick Warren, Hitler, Stalin and God

Bob, at gods4suckers, explains why he loves Xians. He asks, "...where else can you get away with comparing your goals to totalitarianism -- and call it righteous?"

The answer is: at Anaheim Stadium where Saddleback Church members gather.


I would ask, also, "Who can get by suggesting that church members emulate Hitler's youthful followers and have a stadium full of Christians applaud?"

The answer is: Only Rick Warren, Obama's nod-to-god invocator.


The link to the video is here.

Bob's original post is here.



Doggie (men's) restroom (Photo)


Every dog of the male gender is pleased to come upon one of these upright restrooms while roaming the streets of our cities and towns. A tree is fine, but there's something special about a fire hydrant. One Golden Retriever, interviewed in a central Florida town, said a fire hydrant makes him feel like a "real" dog.

"I just have one question," he continued. "Why is the damn thing painted with Swedish colors? I'm from Scotland!"

I had to admit that I didn't know. Fortunately, Goldens are good as gold and he didn't bite me.

Florida school ordered to stop christianist activities

The Santa Rosa School District in Milton, Florida, has been attempting to make little Christians out of its students and a federal judge has ordered them to stop.

After school officials admitted the allegations in a suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, U.S. District Court Judge Casey Rodgers shut their christianist efforts down.

On December 15, 2008, the School Board, the superintendent and the Pace High School principal filed an "Admission of Liability" with the court regarding districtwide constitutional violations.

These violations included the following:

* Elementary graduations and middle school Christmas concerts held at churches.

* Teachers and staff at Pace High School preaching about "Judgment Day with the Lord."

* Teachers and staff offering Bible readings and biblical interpretations during student meetings.

The district has also offered prayer at school events, including graduation ceremonies.


The injunction by the court bans the School District Board and its employees from:

* Promoting, advancing, aiding, facilitating, endorsing, or causing religious prayers or devotionals during school-sponsored events.

* Planning, organizing, financing, promoting or otherwise sponsoring religious baccalaureate services at all schools within the Santa Rosa School District, including at Pace High School.

* Holding school-sponsored events at religious venues when alternate venues are reasonably available.

* Permitting school officials to promote their personal religious beliefs and proselytize students in class or during school-sponsored events and activities.

* Otherwise unconstitutionally endorsing or coercing religion.


It's a shame that it takes legal action to force a public school district to obey the law and follow the Constitution of the United States, which they are chartered to teach.

But this is the kind of thing that happens when christianists consist of a majority in a community or on a school board, or a government committee, or a state legislature.

And for those of you who were around when the Christian Coalition was founded, this is exactly what was promised (or threatened) by the christianist wingnuts such as Pat Robertson who were involved at the time: an internal attack on our institutions in order to institute christianist religion in the various religious, educational and governmental agencies of our country.


Obviously, the officials of the Santa Rosa School District not only knew what was going on in the district, but gave their explicit approval. They should be removed from their positions for they have failed in their obligation to their students by illegally promoting a particular religion!


What's even more frightening is that it is very likely this kind of thing is being replicated in thousands of school districts around the country.


A complete report on this situation here.

The Santa Rosa School District site here.

Christianist stealth leader warns Obama

There are at least two groups at work today in the mainline Christian denominations in order to disrupt these denominations to the extent they can be taken over by a fundamentalist cadre that is high on biblical literalism and "orthodoxy" in its most extreme forms and low on inclusiveness. These two groups are also homophobic and anti-abortion.

One of them is known as the Association for Church Renewal. Some would say that's a nice-sounding name, but it is simply a cover for a pack of fundamentalist predators. The president of the ACR is one David Runnion-Bareford, who has worked for years to impose his conservative nonsense on one the most liberal and inclusive Protestant groups, the United Church of Christ. He's an advocate of utilizing "stealth" tactics by ultra-conservatives to take over the mainline groups. Such stealth tactics involve infiltrating church boards, committees, Sunday schools, etc., in order to move them to the right so that eventually the church itself can be "redeemed" for the Lord.

These people are not above the slimiest of tactics. When it appeared the Gene Robinson would be elected as Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire, they funded an intense smear campaign, falsely accusing him of sexual harassment and administering a bi-sexual website. The smears were successful in that as a result of these false charges, some wealthy Episcopal congregations left the Church to join with the "renegade" Anglican outfit.


A couple of days ago, Runnion-Bareford had the gall to "warn" President-elect Obama that his invitation to Bishop Robinson to participate in the inauguration festivities would be "destructive" to those rightwingnuts who might want to support him.

"Your decision to invite Bishop Gene Robinson to provide public leadership at the Sunday celebration of your inauguration is offensive and disappointing to many of us in Christian leadership who seek to be supportive of your presidency ... Robinson is a schismatic figure who has intentionally caused deep hurt and division in the Christian Church. To many mainline Christians who share you concerns for peace and justice, Robinson symbolizes the moral deviance of denominational leaders who have embraced the agenda of sexual license to the detriment and decline of their churches. ... "

Not only so, says wingnut Runnion-Bareford, but omigod, Obama's sending a signal to all those Christians in the "global south," (i.e. Africa and South America and Asia) that he intends "to embrace the virulent practice of western hedonism," blah, blah, blah.


It is no wonder that people look at the Christian church, Protestant and Catholic, and just laugh. Or cry. What a joke.

If there is a hell, there must be a special place reserved for bastards like Runnion-Bareford and his ilk.


More here. And here. And here.

Update on Paul Broun, the baffled bozo from Georgia

[Image from Citizen Sugar]

We've written about Rep. Paul Broun, the wingnut from Georgia on a couple of occasions. You may recall he introduced a bill in Congress that would prohibit the sale of "pornography" (e.g. Playboy and Penthouse) on military bases in order to protect the minds and morals of our young fighting men and women.

Broun, a typical Repugnican sleazebag, also voted against SCHIP (providing health care for children).

You'll also remember that he's one of the three morons who went to the Capitol the other day to anoint the doorway through which Obama will pass on his inauguration, during which time he prayed that God would "stir the heart of our new president that President Obama will listen and will heed God's direction."

And who better to tell us what God's "direction" is than Paul Broun.


Here's a couple of things from digby that I hadn't known:

1. About a week after Obama's election, Broun commented that by calling for a national civilian security force, the President-elect had shown the world that he was a "radical Marxist Nazi socialist comparable to Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin."

Broun told the AP, "It may sound a bit crazy and offbase, but the thing is, he's the one who proposed this national security force. I'm just trying to bring attention to the fact that we may--may not, I hope not--but we may have a problem with that type of philosophy of radical socialism or Marxism. That's exactly what Hitler did in Nazi Germany and it's exactly what the Soviet Union did. When he's proposing to have a national security force that's answering to him, that is as strong as the U.S. military, he's showing me signs of being Marxist."

The man is certifiable! Do we not provide help for Congresspeople who are crazy?

2. While I am aware that Broun is a christianist wingnut, I didn't know how he became one. He "attributes his conservative transformation to the wonder working power of Jesus. Broun's born-again moment arrived in 1986, during the height of the Reagan Revolution, while he toiled as a doctor in rural Georgia, struggling to keep afloat during the first year of his marriage. He has suffered through several 'broken marriages and episodes of broken relationships and financial problems,' Broun recalled during a November 2007 speech on the House floor. While watching an NFL game, Broun became entranced by a 'gentleman with this big type of hair wig on' holding a 'John 3:16' sign. 'As I sat there in my office that fall trying to figure out life, I picked up the Bible and read John 3:16,' Broun said. He suddenly transformed into a true believer, a cadre of the Christian right."

(The guy with the wig was Rollen Stewart, "an evangelical fanatic" who found his way to numerous sporting events with his John 3:16 sign. At the present time, Stewart is "serving three consecutive sentences in jail on kidnapping charges as well as minor sentences for stink bomb attacks.")


Does Rollen Stewart bring to mind Tim Tebow? It should. And it should show us just how dangerous it is for football players like Tebow to paint Bible verses on their cheeks. A moron like Broun might be tempted to look up the verse and become an even bigger moron and get elected to Congress, and holy crap, what a mess that would be!


Check out digby's article here.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Help! Our culture is brainwashing Christians!

That's what Pentecostalist J. Lee Grady says.

Grady is the editor of the rightwingnut magazine, Charisma. He's very worried. "Forces in our culture want to rip the foundations of Christian faith right out from under America," he cries.

What forces? Well, the devil, for one, who "is working overtime today to gain control of our nation's soul." Yes! This is a "life-and-death struggle." Christians can't be "squishy in their faith or spineless in their convictions."

Got to fight the devil and other "forces."


Christians are being brainwashed by our "culture" in four ways or by four "lies." Christians gotta fight these lies!

1. First lie: Hell does not exist. Jesus preached about hell. A lot. Got to warn everybody - "not to condemn people in mean-spirited judgment but to warn them that mercy has a time limit."

Yup. God's gonna get you, sooner or later, if you "reject Him."


2. Second lie: God didn't create the world. That damn Darwin screwed everything up. Everybody knew God created the world, and then along came Darwin with his "sketchy" theory. Heh, heh.

Did you know that Darwinism is "laughably lacking in scientific basis" and "has roots in spiritualism" and "is not really about science at all--it is about rebellion against God's rule over us"?

In response, the first thing to note is that there is no such thing as "Darwinism." Grady is throwing out a fundamentalist straw man. There's a theory as to how life came into existence known as evolution. The theory has been proven over and over again and all scientists use it as a basis of their work. One cannot begin to understand biology, for example, without an understanding of the evolutionary process.

Grady would have us believe that the "world" (whatever that is) resists believing in a "Creator" because the "world" is fearful that it would have to obey God. Without a Creator God, you see, we are all amoral creatures running about doing all kinds of evil things. You can't be "good" without God, says Grady.

What Grady is really pissed about is people who don't accept a literal interpretation of one of the creation stories in Genesis: they don't BELIEVE the Bible!

Yet there are many Christians today who believe in a God and further believe that their God created all that exists, but also believe that God used and uses the process of evolution in her ongoing creative endeavors.

Of course, Grady would probably say they weren't "real" Christians, because they don't take everything in the Bible literally. (Grady doesn't either, but it's unlikely he would admit that.)

Furthermore, if anything has been made clear down through the centuries, it is that belief in a Creator God does not, in any way, shape or form, guarantee moral behavior. The truth is often the reverse.

Grady is frustrated because "The mainstream media and academia insist that evolution is pure fact. Anyone who dares to challenge it is considered a religious idiot."

Actually, to reject the theory of evolution is idiocy. Most people who reject it are, in fact, religious idiots, and that includes J. Lee Grady!


3. Third lie: All religions lead to God. Even George W. Bush might believe this one, and Barack Obama definitely does!

It is, however, a terrible heresy. Salvation is only possible through believing in Jesus Christ! Unfortunately, some churches (like the Episcopal church) have adopted this terrible notion that you might get to God by walking another non-Christian path, but then, they deny the authority of scripture!

People who believe this, says Grady, are like the prophets of Baal in Jezebel's court. Therefore, "We must arise in the spirit of Elijah to confront this deception and prove to the world that the one true God answers by fire."

Yup. By fire! And if you dare to think that the loving Creator God might find it in her heart to accept all people under the umbrella of her massive and ultimate love for her creation, YOU will BURN FOREVER IN HELL!


4. Man can redefine morality. "This," says Grady, "is perhaps the most deadly lie of all." Perhaps? Isn't he sure? What does he mean? Well, it's a terrible situation: "Everywhere we look today," says Grady, "leaders in media, politics, education and entertainment are plotting the virtual overthrow of conventional morals. They want a hedonistic world with no rules and no guilt."

What? "Plotting"? Is Grady frigging crazy? Can he prove that?

Yes. No. Well, not really. What's got his shorts in a knot is the fact that Newsweek published an article "brazenly claiming that the Bible approves of same-sex marriage."

So, in the end it comes down to the same old crap: It's all about homosexuality and the homophobic fears of the christianist wingnuts; it's about abortion and sex. "A lying spirit has invaded many mainline churches and is convincing weak Christians to change their views about homosexuality, abortion and fornication."

I'm always amazed that these so-called god-lovers seldom, if ever, deal with "real" problems - like hungry people, people without medical care, an economy going down the toilet, the massive corruption in the corporate world and the government, wars without end, the desecration of the environment, the homeless, the millions without work, global warming, the shredding of our civil rights and the increasing encroachment of "Big Brother," etc.


J. Lee Grady acts like a frightened rabbit in a corner. He perceives evil everywhere, and attributes evil motives to just about everyone who doesn't believe as he does, and obviously has aligned himself with a weak, incompetent nincompoop god who can't do a thing about the terrible things that worry Mr. Grady! Grady and the flock of frightened, wimpy believers who fall in behind him, cower beneath the onslaught of this massive cultural attack on all they hold dear and sacred.

What a crock! It would funny if it weren't so sad. What a terrible waste of energy and time! J. Lee Grady is, of course, preaching to his choir. And they will nod and look sober and say "Amen."

For the rest of us, however, he gives four good reasons why intelligent and loving people should reject Christianity as a viable spiritual path.

Robert Ford, South Carolina wingnut, takes flight

Robert Ford, a Democratic state senator from South Carolina, is one of those people you hear about and wonder "What rock did this guy crawl out from under?"

Reportedly, he is planning to run for governor. Omigod!

Here's what he's done lately. Ford introduced a bill in the South Carolina General Assembly that reads thusly:

Section 16-15-370. (A) It is unlawful for a person in a public forum or place of public accomodation wilfully and knowingly to publish orally or in writing, exhibit, or otherwise make available material containing words, language, or actions of a profane, vulgar, lewd, lascivious, or indecent nature.

(B) A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.


Ken, at popehat.com says this:

"Robert Ford is an ignorant censorious dick. ...

"Sit back for a moment and admit the breathtaking scope of that. I'm pretty sure Ford just proposed to make it illegal to put on any play with profanity in it. Or to sell a book with profanity in it. Or to hold up a sign with profanity in it. Or to have a conversation in a restaurant featuring profanity. Or to show a movie, hand out a flier, write a letter with profanity in it. And that's leaving aside the ludicrously vague and overbroad categories of 'vulgar,' 'lewd,' 'lascivious,' or 'indecent.' What the hell do those mean? ...

"Robert Ford just made it a felony to teach, or give a kid to read, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Catcher in the Rye, most of the works of William Shakespear, and -- fuck it, this list is pointless. Most of the Western canon arguably violates this law. Just don't read, kids. You can still aspire to be a state senator." ...

"Someone needs to acquaint Robert Ford with the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, branding it on his ass if possible. ...

"So Ford, if not an abject ignoramus, is an oathbreaker. By offering for a vote a law that is patently unconstitutional under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution (not to mention Article 1, Section 2 of the South Carolina Constitution), Ford has defied his oath or preserve, protect and defend those guarantees."


Couldn't have said it better myself!

Ken's entire article is here. The bill, in all its asinine glory is here.

Senator David Vitter stands alone

Yesterday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted by a margin of 16-1 to approve Hillary Clinton's nomination as Secretary of State.

The only member of the committee to vote against the confirmation was David Vitter, a Regugnican from Louisiana.

It's too bad, because by all accounts, Vitter should have resigned from the Senate long ago for his reprehensible and immoral behavior.

But Vitter, being a true christianist, is also a hypocrite of immense proportions. Vitter's life has been largely a pretense. Calling for Clinton to resign in 1998 because of his dalliance with Monica Lewinski, Vitter himself has been a longtime customer of prostitutes, both in New Orleans and in D.C.

On July 9, 2007, Vitter apologized when it was revealed he was a customer of Pamela Martin and Associates, a prostitution business dressed as an escort service. Vitter, caught with his metaphorical pants down, said "This was a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible."

And then, "Several years ago, I asked for and received forgiveness from God and my wife in confession and marriage counseling..."

Yeah...but there's also the matter of his long-term affair with a New Orlean's prostitute. Vitter claimed he never did such a thing.

Of course not. I mean he's a lector at his Catholic church, for god's sake!

But Wendy Cortez, the pros, and photos show he's a liar.


Then there's the business of the Deborah Jane Palfrey's (the D.C. madam) suicide on May 1, 2008 in Florida. Or perhaps her murder.


Unfortunately, Vitter, self-righteous asshat that he is, hangs on to continue to cause trouble. On the very first day of the 111th Congress, Senator Asshat dumped 34 bills and resolutions in the hopper, an action certain to clog things up.

Vitter is planning to run again in 2010. Thus all these bills and resolutions. He staking his claim to his christianist rightwing fundy wingnut position, hoping to garner the votes of all the folks of the freaky right.

The bills and resolutions are all about ... well, guess. Yup. Abortion - he's agin' it; public prayer - he's for it; stem cell research - nope!; home schooling - yup!; drugs - against; death penalty - for; illegal immigration - against; protecting the American flag - for.


Democrats think Vitter may be vulnerable in 2010. It would be wonderful to move this rightwing creepo from the Senate.

We can always hope.

Barack Obama, betrayer of Christians, says Matt Barber

[Photo of Matt Barber, christianist hypocrite par excellence]

President-elect Barack Obama has betrayed Christians in America, according to the christianist wingnut Matt Barber of the rightwing, fundy outfit, Liberty Counsel.

Omigod! How has Obama betrayed Christians in America? you ask.

Well, it's quite simple. Obama pretends to be a Christian. Not only so, but he's invited three Christian clergy to invocate at his inauguration. One is a homophobic, rightwing fruitcake named Warren. Another is a respected veteran of the Civil Rights movement and considered to be a moderate. The final choice is a bishop in the Episcopal Church.

It's the latter that's the problem. Why would a bishop be a problem? Well, it seems this bishop is of a different sexual orientation than Matt Barber.

Here's what the loving Christ-like Barber has to say about his fellow Christians, Barack Obama, and Bishop Gene Robinson:

"It's a shame that our next president apparently has so little regard for his Christian constituents that he would give such a high place on honor to a self-styled man of God whose only claim to fame is that he abandoned his wife and children to enter, 'loudly and proudly, a sexually deviant lifestyle expressed condemned by the very Bible he's ironically called 'holy and sacred.'"

So, Robinson's a bad guy. Why? He's a homosexual. Barber, being a true christianist, does not mention that Robinson and his ex-wife, whom he divorced some 20 years ago, remain friends and that he is very close to his two adult daughters. Barber, being an asshat, doesn't mention that Robinson has lived in a loving and faithful relationship with his partner for 20 years. Barber, concerned more with christianist dogma than following his "savior," fails to note that Bishop Robinson lives an exemplary Christian life.

Barber exemplifies those self-righteous nasties who claim to know the mind of God and proceed to tear down other Christians as well as anyone else who doesn't agree with them.

If the legendary Jesus was anywhere near the truth when he spoke of hypocritical behavior on the part of the religious folks, it's not the Robinsons of the world who will be called to account for their ungodly behavior, it's the Barber's of the world!

Morning sunshine (Photo)

A little sunshine on a cold winter's day

Finding Jesus in a toilet

[Photo from Daniel Kurtzman at Political Humor]

Rob Schenck, the wacko fundamentalist christianist who thinks he is called to "save" our nation from whatever evil lurks, especially in Washington, D.C., and who joined with two other wackos to "anoint" the doorposts through which Obama will walk to his inauguration, tells a "wonderful" tale about hearing a Xmas carol in a "thruway men's room."

It "really made an impression," says Schenck.

The carol was "O Holy Night."

Schenck writes "That's a lot of religion for a public toilet, but it really fits." (Methinks he doth not know how true that is!) But he goes on to mention that "Jesus was not born in a palace or a resort. The Savior made His debut in a pretty earthy setting. A stall for farm animals is generally marked by a distinctive odor, not different from a roadside john."

Heh, heh.

Yup, Jesus can be found in the most unlikely places, and Schenck fully expects to hear a "tear-jerking testimony about a toilet-stall conversion" before he get swooped up to heaven.


Schenck has inadvertently answered one of those most pressing questions that has bothered so many people for so long: What was Larry Craig doing in that men's room at the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport?

He was looking for Jesus!


The wacko's Website is here.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Rick Sanchez - changing my mind

In the past, I've been fairly critical of Rick Sanchez, remembering his antic and goofy enthusiasm as a newscaster in South Florida.

This video may well change my mind. Anyone who thinks Sam (or Joe) the Plumber is nutcase is OK in my book.

The next time Rick goes after Sam, though, I wish he wouldn't pull his punches. Heh, heh.

(h/t to Firedoglake)

Praying away America's moral depravity

[Image from xiyad.com]

Our times are characterized by moral depravity say certain Pentecostal leaders according to a recent article in Charisma magazine. Not only that, but it's partly or largely the fault of the "Christians in America."

Billy Wilson, executive director of the International Center for Spiritual Renewal, claims that Christian evangelism has been essentially ineffective in America which is shown by the fact that Christian's effect on the culture "has been in a slow, two- to three- decade decline." Does this mean that 20-30 years ago, America was morally in good shape?

Wilson's "moral depravity" is not defined in this article, but from what we know of the christianist right, it probably refers to abortion and homosexuality.


At any rate, most interesting is the way Wilson and others like him intend to deal with the problem. The church must repent for its "spiritual passivity ... and fast and pray for a Third Great Awakening."

There is an organization called the "Awakening America Alliance -- a three- to five-year initiative that launched in early 2008 aimed at ushering in a Third Great Awakening in America." Those involved are Pentecostal leaders, a number from the Assemblies of God denomination.

Awakening America is now involved in "21 Days of Awakening," which is running from Jan. 1 to Jan. 21, the purpose of which is to "dedicate 2009 to the Lord."

Pentecostals (the "true" Christians) are supposed to participate in a "fast of contrition and repentance and humility," thus "To seek God together, across the body of Christ, for a new spiritual awakening in the American church and across the U.S."

Fasting is important as it is "sacrificial," it provides greater intimacy with Christ, and opens up "a supernatural element to a believer's life." Or, as one pastor said, "For me, fasting has become the secret to obtaining open doors, miraculous provision, favor and the tender touch of God upon my life."


This is all fascinating stuff.

Consider: America is in a period of "moral depravity," whatever that might mean. Part of the reason for this is that Christians have failed to do their duty and have been too passive in confronting the "culture."

What to do? Fast and pray. Become more spiritual. Get more intimate with Jesus.

It seems the assumption is that with thousands of Christians fasting and praying the moral depravity problem will go away. Or they will get so filled with the "spirit," they'll hit the streets to protest our departure from godliness.


Does God not know about America's "moral depravity"? Is the purpose of all this prayer and fasting to call God's attention to the problem? It seems unlikely that an omnipotent and omniscient god would not be aware that America is on the decline.

And if God is aware of the problem, why hasn't she done something about it? Does God need to be reminded by pious and flagellant folks who whip themselves spiritually in order to kick into action?


'Tis a conundrum, for sure.


You can read the entire article here.

Prayer changes things? (Photo)

Actually, it doesn't

Taxes are good for you (all of us)

[Image from nymag.com]

Larry Beinhart, writing at AlterNet, suggests that we don't need lower taxes, we need higher taxes.

Many folks in Florida are beginning to come to the same conclusion. Florida, the government being run by rich Republicans, has been busy lowering taxes and now we're paying the piper; the pain is palpable. All of a sudden there is not enough money to do much of anything: pay for our schools, hire sufficient law enforcement personnel, repair our infrastructure, retain needed social services, etc.

All of a sudden, the same people who voted for lowering taxes are showing up at school board meetings crying mightily when schools are closed, teachers are let go, and popular programs are abandoned because of insufficient revenues.


Beinhart says that "US economic growth has been strongest when our taxes have been high. During World War II, then under Trumen, Eisenhower, and Kennedy, our upper marginal tax rates were between 88-92%. ... Those were our strongest growth years."

Beinhart is referring only to income taxes and only on the "very richest" in our society.

All of this, of course, flies in the face of conventional "conservative" (read Republican) economic theory which maintains that "tax cuts lead to economic growth." NOT TRUE!

"Moderate tax cuts lead to a flat economy. ...

"Large tax cuts are followed by a boom in the financial sector, a bubble, and a crash. Then a recession or depression with massive bank failures. This has happened three times, in the 1920s, under Reagan, and under George W. Bush."

Do we never learn?


Tax hikes, says Beinhart, bring strong economic growth because they "usually correspond to higher government spending.

"Government spends money on things that the private sector does not spend money on: physical infrastructure, social infrastructure, market infrastructure, and defense.

"Those are the things that create a world in which doing business in possible. The worse those things are, the worse business is. The better they are, the better business is."

Furthermore, we can have increased government spending only with tax hikes.


But, nobody likes to raise taxes. "Nobody likes to give up their personal money for the common good.

"People with a lot of money have, over the past fifty years, spent a fortune on exploiting that instinct and pandering to that feeling. Eventually, with nobody willing to say publicly that taxes are good, they took over the dialogue. It is now routine to hear tax cuts as refered to as 'pro-growth' policies, even though, in fact, that's not true. It is routine to hear tax hikes called 'anti-growth' policies, when that's not true.

"The rich, the Republicans, and the Right, have lost this last election, but they still own the mythology."


Read the entire article here.

Italy's rabbis say no amore no more

It would appear that much of the work of John Paul II to mitigate centuries of enmity between the Roman Catholic church and the Jewish community is being undone by Benedict XVI. Hard feelings are returning with a vengeance.

Italy's Catholic church is planning to conduct its annual "celebration of Judaism" on January 17. I'm not sure what it involved or how it's done or what it means, but Italy's rabbis ain't a-comin'!

Italy's rabbis have said "Thanks, but no thanks." They are not happy with Benedict and his actions. Elia Enrico Richetti, the chief rabbi of Venice, mentioned one of the things the Jews dislike mucho - Benedict's decision to restore a prayer for the conversion of Jews in Easter services of the old Latin Mass.

This, said Richetti, indicated a lack of respect. And more. "If we add to this the recent positions taken by the pope about dialogue, said to be useless because the superiority of the Christian faith is proven anyway, then it's evident that we're heading toward the cancellation of the last 50 years of church history."


The position of the RC church and the Vatican is "tough; when you're right you're right!"

Right.

No amore no more.


Article here.

Giving Jesus a helping hand - or not

Stolen with gratitude from Philly Chief.

Things not well in pope land

[MSNBC photo of Cardinal Renato Martino]

Pope Benedict XVI is planning to visit Israel - er, was planning to visit Israel.

But things are not going well between the Vatican and the Jews. Well, partly because Cardinal Renato Martino, head poohbah for the Vatican Council for Justice and Peace, made a statement that upset the Israelis. Martino is "one of the Pope's closest aides," and therefore one might assume that his thoughts and words often reflect the thinking of the Pope.

Martino made a statement the other day in which he "compared Gaza to a concentration camp. The cardinal criticised Israel for killing civilians who had taken shelter at a UNrun school in Gaza."

"Defenceless populations are always the ones who pay," said Martino. "Look at the conditions in Gaza: more and more, it resembles a big concentration camp."

Martino did, however, also condem Hama's rocket attacks on Israel and noted that Israel did have the right to defend itself.


All of this was just the latest chapter of a growing conflict between the Vatican and Italy's Jews. The latter are also upset about the pontiff's plans to beautify Pope Pius XII, who was the pope during WWII and has been accused of failing to protect Jews from the Holocaust.

The Vatican rejects that accusation and is demanding "the removal of a plaque attacking Pius XII at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem."


So, the long, sordid story of enmity between Jews and Christians continues; perhaps for another 2,000 years.


Oh, one more thing: Cardinal Renato is also the guy who told Catholics to stop giving money to Amnesty International because Amnesty International is now supporting abortion in cases of rape or where a mother's health is in danger.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New book on Jesus' suffering an exercise in futility


Mark A. Marinella, M.D. practices internal medicine in Ohio. He graduated from the Wright State University School of Medicine in 1993 and has written at least two books and a number of articles. Marinella appears to be well-regarded in his community and in the medical establishment.

Marinella is also a christianist, believing that "The crux of Christianity is salvation from the penalty of sin through faith that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh." Well, that's not quite christianist theology, but close. It's the crucifixion and Jesus' sacrificial death that actually makes salvation possible, for it is only a blood sacrifice that will appease God.

The good doctor has decided to become a biblical scholar, too, and has written a new book called "Died He for Me." Christiannewswire describes the book as "a glimpse of Jesus' torture and crucifixion rarely seen outside the medical classroom, all the while connecting each step to scriptures predicting the Messiah's death. ...

"The book is ordered chronologically according to the Gospels' portrayal of Jesus' final 24 hours. Chapters include an in-depth look at Jesus' scourging, the walk to Golgotha, the crucifixion process itself and his actual death, with each chapter offering a study of the physiological processes he was likely experiencing."


Well, now. That's quite a task. Scholars have known for some time that the death of Jesus, the events leading up to it, and the events following it, are creative fiction devised by the Gospel writers.

To go into this in detail would require a great deal of time and space, but you can get a feel for the fictional aspect simply by reading the passion story as it is put forth in Mark, Matthew, Luke and John.

The first thing you will notice is that none of them agree. While each cover some of the main elements of the story, it quickly becomes obvious that each writer has exercised his imagination to modify, excise and add other, key events and characters.

Here are a few examples: In the so-called synoptic Gospels, Jesus and his disciples gather for a Passover meal on Passover evening, and he is crucified the next afternoon. Furthermore, during the meal, Jesus recites the "words of institution" and shares wine and bread with his friends. In the Gospel of John, a regular meal is held before the commencement of Passover and Jesus does not recite any words over bread and wine. Furthermore, John has Jesus giving long, impassioned theological discourses to his disciples before his trial, none of which appear in the Synoptics.

The details change frequently in each of the Gospels. Matthew gets quite creative with his description of the crucifixion itself. When Jesus died on the cross, says Matthew, there was a great earthquake, rocks split and graves opened from which the "saints" came back to life. There is no earthquake in the other Gospels and no graves gaping wide and no "saints" walking around shedding grave clothes and showing off to their friends.

Mark, however, the earliest of the Gospels, writes that the curtain of the Temple was torn in two. That very important fact is not mentioned by the other Gospel writers.


Jewish scholars have long insisted that the Gospel stories of the passion of Jesus are a transparent attempt to take the guilt for Jesus' death away from the Romans and place it on the "Jews." Too many things don't make sense in the context of Jewish life and practice in the first century. A trial would never be held on Passover! The Sanhedrin would not countenance such a thing. Furthermore, it was not considered blasphemy to call yourself a "son of God," or even the Messiah. Additionally, the Sanhedrin was very careful to follow the rules; they required evidence and confirmation, and would not hit or spit on a person as described in one of the Gospels. Finally, if the Sanhedrin should decide on the death penalty, it would be carried out by stoning, not crucifixion.

Another anomaly is the fact that Pontius Pilate was known for his brutality and lack of compassion. He did not get along with the Jewish leaders. He would never have considered their desires or wishes. He certainly would not have "washed his hands" of Jesus. Pilate would have considered Jesus just another rabble rouser and the sooner dead the better.

In other words, one cannot come up with one coherent story of the passion of Jesus because the various Gospel stories are filled with fundamental contradictions that cannot be merged into a coherent whole. And there are absolutely no contemporaneous records of any of these events, even though Rome kept detailed records of the actions of their officials throughout their far-flung empire.


To put it bluntly, even if you assume the basic passion story has some validity, what actually happened cannot be determined from the Gospel writings. To write an entire book detailing the horrible torture and suffering Jesus supposedly suffered based upon such mystical, mythical writing is finally mere speculation and an exercise in futility.

Methinks Dr. Marinella should stick to writing medical treatises dealing with his field of expertise.

Creationist chicanery in Texas

[Image from Pharyngula]

Onenewsnow, being a christianist right wingnut outfit, has no problem with stretching the truth or lying outright, especially for the purpose of giving credence to creationist lies.

For example, in an article discussing an upcoming vote by the Texas State Board of Education onenewsnow says this vote "will decide the fate of academic freedom in the Lone Star State."

That is a lie.

What the Texas SBE is considering is adding the teaching of creationism to the science curricula of Texas public schools. Creationism, itself, is a big lie!

But onenewsnow says that "Those in favor of academic freedom want teachers to be able to discuss both the strengths and weakness of evolution, which the other side wants any scientific critique of evolution censored in the classroom."

Talk about disengenuous! That sentence is an unmitigated falsehood. First of all, science teachers have always discussed evolutionary theory in all of its aspects, including whatever so-called "weaknesses" it might have. That has never been a problem.

What these fundamentalist idiots try to cover up with their pseudo-science is the fact that there is no scientific equivalent to evolution capable of describing the origin and development of life on this planet.

Creationism [or Intelligent Design] is a theological concept based upon a literal understanding of the first chapters of Genesis, and they can't even get that right, as there are two creation stories!

The Discovery Institute is behind this perversion; a bunch of rightwing fundy christianists attempting to impose their biblical nonsense upon unsuspecting students in Texas public schools. (This same thing is going on at this moment in a number of other states, also).

There is perhaps no bigger liar than Casey Luskin of the Discovery Institute (which is the font of creationism) who had the audacity to claim that "This is not about trying to push religion in the science classroom; this is not about pushing creationism or even scientific alternatives to evolution like intelligent design. This is simply about whether students are going to have the right and the academic freedom to learn about both the science that supports Darwin and the science that challenges Darwin."

Excuse me, Luskin, but you are full of bullshit! It's all about religion! It's all about pushing a biblical view of creation! It has nothing to do with academic freedom!

There is no "science" that challenges Darwin! You, sir, are a liar of the first magnitude and thus a violator of the Ten Commandments.

Luskin goes on to claim that "A number of scientific peer-reviewed journalistic publications exist that discuss scientific challenges to core aspects of modern Darwinian theory."

That, too, is unadulterated bullshit. Name one, Luskin! There are no scientific "peers" that perpetrate creationist nonsense or intelligent design! No scientific "peer" or "peer-reviewed journalistic publications promote creationism for creationism is a biblical concept, a theological delusion. Intelligent design, which is just another name for creationism, shares the same fate!


Unfortunately, these christianist creepos won't quit. It's going to take decent, science-respecting people in each state where evolution is attacked, to defang the fundamentalist snake-handlers promoting creationism.

Since the courts in Dover, Pennsylvania threw out the teaching of creationism/ID, it has actually become more difficult to fight the pseudo-scientists, because they have taken to hiding their deceit by pretending they are about "academic freedom," rather than admitting their true purpose which is always and forever to promote fundamentalist christianity's creationist delusions.


An related article of interest here. And here. This one's especially good relative to scientific "peers" who reject evolution; click here.

Roger Wicker the loose wingnut

Roger Wicker, a Repugnican, remains a Senator from Mississippi by virtue beating his Democratic challenger, Ronnie Musgrove on November 4.

That, it seems, gives him authority to speak with authority about other elections. Thus, he says the Norm Coleman is a clear winner in Minnesota, and the fact that Al Franken won the recount is due to voter fraud.

What Wicker knows about this is unknown, but he pontificated as only a blowhard wingnut can pontificate, that "The only way that Franken has this 220-vote lead or so is double-counting of votes, not counting some others, counting absentee ballots under one standard in heavily Democratic areas, and not counting them under another standard in heavily Republican areas."

Yup. That's what he said; in spite of the fact that the recount was conducted under bi-partisan auspices authorized by both camps.

Wicker says this fight for the Senate will end up in the hands of the Minnesota Supreme Court which he hopes will "do the right thing," and "if they call it straight and fair with standard criteria across the board, Coleman will win."

'Course Minnesota is a liberal state, so who knows.

If Minnesota's so "liberal," how did a kooky rightwingnut like Coleman get elected in the first place?

The hypocrisy of these Repugnican freaks is astounding. Where was Wicker when the Bushes stole the 2000 election and when they robbed Kerry of his rightful votes in Ohio in 2004?


Roger Wicker, a member of the House of Representatives, was appointed to the Senate after Trent Lott resigned. He's pretty much a carbon copy of Lott, which tells you a lot. He's a lawyer (naturally), of the moneyed corporate class, and a Southern Baptist who teaches Sunday School.

Here are a few facts about Wicker's voting record:

Abortion:

Wants a law to declare human life begins at conception.
No embryonic stem-cell research.
No abortions of any kind except in a partial birth abortion to save the mother's life.
No human cloning for reproduction & medical research.
Yes on funding for health providers who don't provide abortion information.
No on family planning aid overseas.
Yes on making the 14th amendment apply to pre-born fetuses.

Economy & Budget

No on regulating the subprime mortgage industry!
Yes on restricting bankruptcy rules.

Civil Rights

No on banning job discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Yes on Constitutionally defining marriage as between one man and one woman.
Yes to make the Patriot Act permanent.
Yes to Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage.
Yes to "protect" the Pledge of Allegiance.
Yes to Constitutionally ban abuse of the American flag.
Yes to ban gay adoptions.

Corporations

Yes on Bankruptcy Court overhaul requiring partial debt payment.
Yes on replacing illegal export tax breaks with $140 billion in new breaks.

Crime

Broaden use of the federal death penalty.
More prisons and more mandatory jail sentences.
No to expand services to assist offenders re-entering society.
No on maintaining writ of habeas corpus in death penalty appeals.
Yes to make federal death penalty appeals more difficult.


There's much more. Here's a brief summary:

Wicker supports prayer in the public schools, and is in favor of vouchers for private schools. He voted in favor of off-shore drilling and wants to drill ANWR. Overall, he is a huge supporter of the oil industry and the many tax breaks provided to that industry by the government. With regard to the environment, he is a typical Repugnican, who would "deauthorize" critical habitat for endangered species and support the dumping of nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain.

What makes him especially dangerous is his support of ill-conceived, anti-Constitutional measures instigated by the Bush administration. Thus, he says the FISA court need not provide a warrant to monitor US-to-foreign calls. FISA also is not needed for monitoring for wiretapping abroad. He supports electronic surveillance without a warrant, and intelligence gathering without civil oversight.

NO on raising the minimum wage!


This is the clown who says he is not looking forward to having "someone like" Al Franken in the U.S. Senate. "Nobody's [very excited] to have a loose cannon like Al Franken in the U.S. Senate," said this pompous, self-righteous windbag.

Actually, it would be much better for our country and the world as a whole if we had 100 Al Frankens and no loose wingnuts like Wicker in our U.S. Senate!


You can read all the nasty details of Wicker's voting record here.

Wicker's website is here.


Back in 1987, Wicker played the part of the criminal pickpocket Fagin, in the musical Oliver!. Here's a video of his performance with some text about how fitting it was, for ... "Roger Wicker knows something about picking a pocket or two."

The invocation of Bishop Gene Robinson

The Obama Presidential Inauguration Committee says the choice of Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson to invocate at the big bash was not a last minute thingy.

Well, hell, it sure looks like it. It sure looks like the Obama folks came to realize they'd screwed up with the homophobic, right-wing fanatic Rick Warren, disappointing millions of Obama's most avid supporters.

But never mind about all that. Robinson is going to nod to God on Sunday at what Politico calls the "kickoff inaugural event on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial."

Well, hey, it's better than nothing!


The gay community was happy, more or less. Again from Politico: "Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay civil rights organization, said in a statement that 'Bishop Robinson models what prayer should be -- spiritual reflection put into action for justice. It is encouraging that the president-elect has chosen this spiritual hero ... "


As you might imagine, however, god's christianists on the right are livid! One of the worst christianist homophobic hate groups is Americans For Truth about Homosexuality, aka AFTAH.
Here's a bit of what Peter LaBarbera, president of AFTAH, said about the choice of Robinson:

"President-elect Obama has signaled a tragic departure from America's godly, Judeo-Christian heritage with his choice of defiant homosexual activist, (Vicki) Gene Robinson ...

"Choosing Robinson -- who supports homosexual 'marriage' and compares his agenda to mainstream sinful and changeable homosexual behavior to the noble Black civil rights struggle -- is a sop to 'gay' activists ...

LaBarbera goes on to say that Robinson defies biblical teachings on sex and marriage, and his choice shows the world that Obama is going to "use the bully pulpit to undermine biblical values."

And this is just the beginning, whines LaBarbera. Obama is not only going to see that the federal Defense of Marriage Act is repealed, but "advocate for homosexual adoption," and distort "the Bible to justify his support for homosexual relationships."

Notice how LaBarbera, a "true" believer, a wonderful, godly christianist, attacks his fellow Christian - a bishop, in fact. Robinson, says LaBarbera, "is a radical sexual activist masquerading as a man of God. He is an affront to faithful Christians and religious defenders of morality everywhere. His selfish defense of sin literally has helped to destroy and divide a denomination." Blah, blah, blah.

And then a warning from da LaBarbera: "Robinson personifies the prophet Isaiah's admonition to Israel (Is. 5:20): 'Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.'"


Unfortunately, LaBarbera has things turned around. It's not Robinson who personifies evil, it's LaBarbera and all those self-righteous "Uglicans" who split churches and families and dioceses in order to bow down to their fake god who hates homosexuals! They should all take their holy book and shove it where the sun don't shine!


Gene Robinson is the Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire. Check out his Website here.

Patriotism - Southern Style (Photo)

Deep in the heart of Florida

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Instruction manual for life




This was shamelessly borrowed from Pharyngula. I'll give it back someday. Meanwhile, it is worth a look. 'Tis a parable, much like those used by a certain ancient teacher revered by millions.

Palin pity party and is she really Trig's mom?

Sarah, we hardly knew ye...we wish!

It seems like every time she opens her mouth of late, she's crabbing about the media.

Alex Koppelman at Salon.com, references an interview Palin gave Esquire in which, while whining about "media bias," she mentioned that "Bored, anonymous, pathetic bloggers who lie annoy me...."

But she's also annoyed at the Anchorage Daily News, accusing that paper of pandering to the pathetic pundits by re-airing the old "scandal" as to whether she's Trig's mother.

"I'll tell you, yesterday the Anchorage Daily News, they called again to ask -- double-, triple-, quadruple-check -- who is Trig's real mom. And I said, Come on, are you kidding me? We're gonna answer this? Do you not believe me or my doctor? And they said, No, it's been quite cryptic the way that my son's birth has been discussed. And I thought, Okay, more indication of continued problems in the world of journalism."


The problem with Palin's pathetic patter, is that, in spite of what she told Katie Couric, she evidently does not read "all" the newspapers; in fact, she evidently doesn't even read Alaskan newspapers, or doesn't read them very thoroughly, or the people who read them to her skip some parts.

She sent an angry e-mail to the Anchorage Daily News taking the paper to task for its reporting about her future son-in-law, Levi Johnston's high school "drop out" status, her association with his mother, Sherry Johnston, and the paper's recent attempt to put the birth story to rest.

The editor of the ADN very nicely eviscerated her in his responding e-mail on the first two items and then went on to explain that the paper had never reported on the rumors surrounding the birth of Trig. However, because the story has not gone away, the ADN decided to do a comprehensive report which the editor assumed would shut down the rumors once and for all.

Here's part of the e-mail from Pat Doughherty responding to Palin's concerns:

"I want to be very clear on this: I have from the beginning and do now consider the conspiracy theories about Trig's birth to be nutty nonsense. ...

"Because we have been amazed by the widespread and enduring quality of these rumors, I finally decided, after watching this go on unabated for months, to let a reporter try to do a story about the 'conspiracy theory that would not die' and, possibly, report the facts of Trig's birth thoroughly enough to kill the nonsense once and for all."

In other words, the ADN was trying to help Palin in this predicament. But she's too wrapped up in her own conspiracy theory about media bias to notice!

"...I don't believe she [the reporter, Lisa Demer] received any cooperation in her efforts from the parties who, in my judgment, stood to benefit most from the story, namely you and your family. ... Several weeks ago, when we considered the information Lisa had gathered, we decided we didn't have enough of a story to accomplish what we had hoped. ...

"Even the birth of your grandson may not dissuade the Trig conspiracy theorists from their beliefs. It strikes me that if there is never a clear, contemporaneous public record of what transpired with Trig's birth that may actually ensure that the conspiracy theory never dies. Time will tell."


Notice the paper received NO cooperation from Palin or her family or anyone else connected with the birth of Trig.

What the hell is the problem? Release the medical records of his birth. End of story. End of "scandal." End of conspiracy theory.

Unless (and herein may lie the real "scandal") there are other facts involved in this birth that Palin does not want, under any circumstances, to be made public. How else does one explain this stubborn recalcitrance to clear the air once and for all?


Pity not poor Palin. Most of whatever trouble finds her, she brings on herself.


Sad sack Bush winding down 8 years of disaster

[Time photo that says it all. Poor, pitiful, pathetic George]

George W. Bush gave his last press conference yesterday, and that, like most everything he has touched, was also pretty much a disaster, with White House interns called in to fill empty seats and a only small splattering of applause as he exited the room.

When asked about his mistakes, this time he didn't say he couldn't recall any, as he done so famously before. He admitted to a few.

The "Mission Accomplished" sign was a mistake, said Bush. That fascinated me, because when critics attacked the White House for putting up the sign, the Bush administration denied they had anything to do with it and blamed the Navy. Another lie.

Katrina was difficult as he really didn't think many mistakes were made there. Thirty thousand were pulled off rooftops right away, he crowed. He didn't mention troops failed to show in New Orleans until two days after the storm! He didn't mention that the federal government did nothing for two days. He didn't mention Michael Brown and FEMA's failure to do anything for the first three days or that evacuation buses didn't arrive until much too late.

About the only thing he could come up with was that he should have landed Air Force One in either New Orleans or Baton Rouge, but decided against it because it would have created a problem for the police. That reeks of self-serving justification. He could have landed just about anywhere and helicoptered in. Instead, he flew off to cut birthday cake with John McCain and let New Orleans drown.

Bush spoke of "disappointments," like not finding WMD in Iraq and Abu Ghraib, but mistakes were minimal. Furthermore, he whined, "things didn't go according to plan."

Even in this first, mild attempt to revise his "legacy," Bush fails.

Watch below.


English prelate says atheists use 9/11 as excuse to attack all religions

Would you believe it? Those damn atheists are just as bad as George W. Bush. They're using 9/11 as justification for their chicanery, same as da Bush! Sheesh! What is this world coming to?

So says Lord Carey, who served as the Archbishop of Canterbury, thus being "the most senior cleric in the Church of England between 1991 and 2002."

According to Martin Beckford, Religious Affairs Correspondent for the Telegraph.co.uk, this pretentious prelate "said the destruction of the World Trade Center by Muslim fanatics marked the start of a new war waged by 'aggressive and strident' writers such as Professor Richard Dawkins."

Oh, my! Aggressive and strident. That's scary!

It's too bad, says Lord Carey, because the "'unpleasant and reactionary' tone of those who dismiss all faiths has widened the divide between religion and science, creating a 'dialogue of the deaf.'"

Hmm. Lord Carey believes there is a "divide between religion and science." He evidently does not think that is a good thing. Writing negatively about all religions widens that divide. Therefore, one should not write negatively about all religions."

Do you suppose he would think it OK to write negatively about some religions, say Islam or Hinduism?

Lord Carey is not crazy, but he goes off the deep end when he tries to tie the writing of Richard Dawkins or any other atheist to 9/11. But he does. "September 11th 2001, is a key date in modern history," he says. "It is usually taken to represent a watershed between West and Islam, and this is true. But it is also the date that symbolises a growing split between faith and reason, illustrated in the hostility to all religions by Richard Dawkins and others."

The Right Reverend Carey seems to feel that attacks on religion and the vagarities of religion should be off limits for they upset people.


On the other hand, Lord Carey does make sense on another issue which has become divisive not only among certain Christians and non-Christians but even within the wider Christian community; the pseudo-scientific issue of creationism.

Atheists, says Lord Carey, are in the right when they criticize the "pseudo-science" of creationism. "Creationism," the reverend notes correctly, "is the fruit of a fundamentalist approach to scripture, ignoring scholarship and critical learning, and confusing different understanding of truth.


So, I'd say Carey is one for one, and that's not bad for a Church of England cleric!


But there's more to the story of Lord Carey:

Some think Carey, "a champion of orthodoxy," is a divisive force in the Church of England, and he has been banned from speaking at a Cathedral. Story here.

In Jerusalem, he said he was "ashamed" to be an Anglican. Read about it here.

Beckford's complete article here.

Lord Carey's official Website is here.

Hooking for college

[Image from Digital Alchemy]

'Tis no big deal, says 22-year old Natalie Dylan, who is offering her virginity in an auction to raise funds to obtain a master's degree in Family and Marriage therapy.

What the hell, why not?

Her sister, she says, went a-hooking for only three weeks and made enough money to pay for a college degree.

Prostitution must run in the family?

Dylan, a San Diego gal with a degree in women's studies, claims to have bids from 10,000 men, worth more than $3.7 million.

This is, she cautions, only a one-night stand; not an offer to become a girlfriend or wife.

The highest bidder gets the "prize."

"It's shocking that men will pay so much for someone's virginity, which isn't even highly so highly prized anymore," she says.

Yup.


The entire story is here. And more here.

Mike Huckabee, Christian con artist

Mike Huckabee is smooth as a rat's ass. That's why he's so dangerous. His winsome, winning ways conceal an agenda loaded with the same Republican refuse that got us to this nadir in our history in the first place.

This Baptist preacher turned politico is nothing, if not devious, said deviousness covered by coats of smarmy varnish intended to twist you into thinking he's just one more good ol' boy who would make a wonderful prezident.

Huck has his own talk show now at FAUX News, where he blithers and blathers with the low and the mighty. Not a bad platform from which to launch a bid for the 2012 Republican nomination. While the support of FAUX News does not guarantee success, it ain't gonna hurt with the hoi polloi who know from nothing.

The former governor, preacher, politico also has a book out, called Do the Right Thing. Well, whadya think it would be called? He's a fundy preacher for chrissakes!

Do the right thing. Yes. Always. With Jesus' help.

According to an article by A. J. Jacobs in the latest issue of Esquire titled "The Laughing Man," Huck, in his book, "spells out his plan to fix the Republican Party. The short answer: Return to conservative moral values, including an emphasis on pro-life issues and a ban on gay marriage, and stop spending money like Democrats."

Aw, c'mon. That's the same old crap the Repugs have been spewing for years. Fortunately, it is exactly what the American people soundly rejected in our latest go around!


But watch out. We're gonna see more of this rumpled funny man who, as Jacobs says, is "so damn folksy and kind and self-deprecating that the liberal media ... just want to hug him." I don't know from the liberal media, but I have heard a lot of normal people feel that way.

Got to listen to what he says and what he doesn't say. And always remember, he's at heart a Baptist preacher, so watch your back.

The Good Ol' Days (photo)


The good ol' days. They weren't easy, but there were some rewards, like being allowed to eat all the eggs you wanted at Easter.

Whoopi goes after Coulter

On the View yesterday, Whoopi Goldberg questioned Coulter on her "single-mother" theory that suggests single mothers are responsible for most of the nastiness in the world, all because they can't keep their legs crossed.

Whoopi, being a single mother, thinks Coulter is out of her mind. Coulter responds with statistics, conspiracy theories and other bullshit. The evil emanated by this woman is palpable.

It bothers me that Coulter was invited to be on the View in the first place. Who did that? Why give this most vulgar specimen of humanity more publicity?

Obviously, she was invited to create controversy; the more controvery the more viewers.

Just another example of the sucking swamp into which most TV programming is disappearing.

The clip's over 8 minutes, but probably interesting enough to keep your attention.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Moving from Purgatory to Hell


As regular readers of this blog are aware, I enjoy tweaking the dingy dogmas and pious prelates of the Roman Catholic Church. Sometimes, there's so much good stuff to gig, I can't help myself. But, I figure it's a big institution and I'm really no threat to its ongoing survival.

On the other hand, I really enjoy tweaking christianist fundamentalists for their horrific doctrines and pietistic pretensions, especially their penchant for grinning while consigning those who disbelieve their particular delusions, to everlasting hellfire.

So, here's a treat for you.

Click here, and you can get a "comical" view of how fundamentalist christianity would move you from the danger of Purgatory to the fear of Hell. As to the latter, only the fundy Jesus can save your poor, decrepit, sinful souls. As you shall see.

h/t to The Secular Outpost

Bush a "consequential" president?

This is just too funny. Ross Mackenzie, who, before he retired, was an editor at the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch, has an article at McClatchy in which he argues that "Bush may be [the] most consequential president since Reagan."

Hmmm. That is supposed to be a bonus for Bush, but who the hell still thinks Reagan was consequential, in a positive way, except for unreconstructed neocons and economic morons?

And if Bush was so "consequential," why this sentence: "The left and the media and the ever-expanding blogosphere, and of course the Democrats, never permitted George Bush to recover from the circumstances of his 2000 election.

"They deemed him unacceptable, accidental, illegitimate, likely a conniver in the national outcome - and so took to lobbing their hateful commentaries one after another without end."

Isn't that sad? The fact is that Bush was and is "unacceptable, accidental, illegitimate," and "a conniver in the national outcome [in 2000]."

So, exactly how is Bush "consequential? Well, in spite of the media, the Democrats, and that damned "blogosphere," da man Bush "persevered and prevailed." Yup, he shore did. Well, he made mistakes, says Mackenzie, but after 9/11 "no subsequent domestic jihadist strike ensued."

Oh, and then there's Iraq, where we are, claims Mackenzie, "approaching victory." Heh. Heh.

And Georgie boy was "resolute," and "true to his values, to his nation, and to mankind's ultimate cause."

Right. Well, except for shredding the constitition, the economic depression, instigating a class war in the U.S., a preemptive war with millions dead and crippled, massive instability around the globe, and an increasing terrorist threat, etc.


It gets worse. Mackenzie, living in some twilight zone, actually writes that "Bush was correct about Social Security, despite a spineless, risk-averse Congress unwilling to get its game together."

Let's see. If Bush had privatized Social Security, millions of people just like me would be standing in the bread lines looking for handouts. Thank the gods for that "spineless, risk-averse Congress"!


Oh, there's so much more of this garbage. And you'll love the way Mackenzie ends his piece. A priceless bit of buffoonery and chutzpah, totally unrelated to any reality.

We'd say Bush was "consequential," all right, but only those a million light years away from sanity would conclude that's a good thing.

Maybe it's the water in Virginia?

You can read the whole mess here.