Saturday, January 24, 2009

Gaza, Iraq, Afghanistan & American hypocrisy

When the rockets red glare, burst in the air, over Israel, our media was, almost without exception, silent. For years. One Middle Eastern reporter, siding with Hamas, claims these rockets did not detonate. Who cared whether they did or not? Very few. Where was the outrage? Absent.

During these years, whenever a truce was negotiated and there occurred a lull in the Hamas barrage, Hamas used that lull to restock its armories with weapons.

When Israel decided enough was enough and took action against Hamas, the outcry was worldwide and sustained and continues. Much of the outcry was based upon reports coming from within Gaza and were unconfirmed. For example, the Gazan hospital said to have been reduced to rubble by the Israelis, is expected to be up and running in a couple of days.

At the moment a truce is in effect. Hamas leaders have come out of their hiding places among the population, and put their uniforms back on. A degree of normalcy is returning to Gaza. Do you think Hamas is restocking its supply of weapons, including rockets?

Hamas is a terrorist organization but rules Gaza. Hamas is dedicated to the destruction of Israel. Hamas exists to destroy Israel.

During this recent military confrontation between Israel and Hamas, the outcry has been mostly about the deaths of innocent men, women and children. That is a legitimate concern. While all the facts are not in, and now a Gazan doctor claims the number of deaths has been exaggerated, no one is comfortable with civilians being killed in the morass of war.

At the same time, it is monumental hypocrisy for Americans to criticize Israel when for the last five years, our military forces have caused thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of deaths of innocent men, women and children in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Collateral damage. Big time. What makes American criticism of Israel even more hypocritical is that Iraq not only never attacked the United States, but did not even have the capability to attack the U.S., and never threatened to do so.

It was reported today that American planes attacked a terrorist camp in Pakistan and killed several civilians. This is not unusual, but occurs on a regular basis. Our response is, "Oops. Sorry 'bout that. We'll try to do better next time."

While we never should have invaded Iraq, there is some justification for going after members of al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan because that group is responsible for the 9/11 attacks. But, even with such justification, we have the added problem of targeting terrorists without permission of the country in which they are located. Pakistan is not happy with us at the moment, feeling its sovereignty has been abrogated.

Furthermore, because the terrorists in Afghanistan/Pakistan follow the same MO as Hamas in Gaza -- hiding among the civilian population; indeed, using the civilian population as shields -- there will be "collateral damage."

Where is the outcry in the media over these innocent men, women and children that have been and continue to be killed by American forces?

It is absent. There is a huge sucking void.

Frankly, the problem of Israel and Gaza is beyond my grade level, to quote a famous leader. And I don't have a solution to the Afghanistan situation nor do I know how to capture bin Laden as John McCain claimed he would do.

But fair is fair. It seems a massive hypocrisy to attack Israel for doing exactly the same thing that Hamas has been doing to that country for the past eight years and that we've been doing in Iraq since 2003 and Afghanistan since 2001.

Why McCain lost - one more reason

No matter how hard John McCain tried to play the "cool" dude with energy to spare; and no matter how many times John McCain said he was "ready to lead," and no matter his insistence he had the experience to start from "day one," the impression he often gave was of a somewhat confused, older man, out of touch with the reality of the world in which he lived.

In the February 2 issue of Time magazine, managing editor Rick Stengel takes note of the massive technological changes that have occurred in the past 47 years:

"In 1961, when TIME showed on the cover a photograph of John F. Kennedy taking the oath of office as the nation's 35th President, it was the first time we had put a presidential Inauguration on the magazine's cover. At the time, it was also the fastest cover close in the magazine's history.

"The photo was shot and processed in Washington in about three hours, then the art director took the transparencies on a plane to Chicago, where they were taken to TIME's central printing plant, where a color engraving was produced. Then those images were taken by air to printing plants in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Washington and Albany, NY. All in all, about 36 hours.

"Now it's almost instantaneous and done completely digitally."

When I read that, one difference between John McCain and Barack Obama became starkly obvious. John McCain did not know how to send an e-mail which gave many the impression he was technologically challenged. Barack Obama, as it turned out, is technologically savvy and hired people who were technological geniuses and put together a campaign that was fueled and driven in large part by the Internet.

John McCain always gave the impression he would be much more comfortable and "at home" if it was 1963 again.

And it may well be that is one more reason John McCain lost the election.

Obama and Congressional leaders on January 23

Keith Olbermann provides us with sight and insight as per Obama's meeting yesterday with Congressional leaders, a session that will be remembered for the phrase, "I won!"

Thanks to Video Cafe.

Wait for the Rapture here (Photo)

I've been told by biblical authorities in high places, or maybe they were biblical authorities who were high, that this bench is a place for christianists who smoke to relax and wait for the Rapture.

"Praise the Lord," saith one such christianist, blowing smoke rings in the air. "My feet are killing me and I wants to go to heaven!"

Mississipi wingnut sounds off on evolution

The great state of Mississippi which blessed the country with the likes of Trent Lott, is back in the news because of its godly take on evolution - that "controversial" theory.

Gary Chism is an independent insurance agent and a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives.

Now he may be a great insurance agent, but he's no scientist and has not a clue as to what evolution is all about. His ability to think logically is also challenged as you shall see.

Representative Chism has introduced a bill into the Mississippi State Legislature that would mandate all textbooks that teach evolution include the following on the inside front cover of the textbook:

"The word 'theory' has many meanings, including: systematically organized knowledge; abstract reasoning; a speculative idea or plan; or a systematic statement of principles. Scientific theories are based on both observations of the natural world and assumptions about the scientific world. They are always subject to change in view of new and confirmed observations.

"This textbook discusses evolution, a controversial theory some scientists present as a scientific explanation for the origin of living things. No one was present when life first appeared on earth. Therefore, any statement about life's origins should be considered a theory.

"Evolution refers to the unproven belief that random, undirected forces produced living things. There are many topics with unanswered questions about the origin of life which are not mentioned in your textbook, including: the sudden appearance of the major groups of animals in the fossil record (known as the Cambrian Explosion); the lack of new major groups of other living things appearing in the fossil record; the lack of transitional forms of major groups of plants and animals in the fossil record; and the complete and complex set of instructions for building a living body possessed by all living things.

"Study hard and keep an open mind."

There's so much wrong with this it's hard to know where to begin. As others have said, it represents gross ignorance about scientific "theory," and especially the theory of evolution. Evolution is not "controversial" except in the minds of biblical literalists. And it's not correct to say "some scientists present [evolution] as a scientific explanation for the origin of living things." All but a few wingnut "scientists" accept evolution. And, as usual, Mr. Chism does not understand the meaning of "theory" in a scientific context. But there is humor, too. As State of Belief blog puts it:

"This is pretty sad - this public official has so little understanding of how science works that [he] thinks that scientists can only make conclusions based [on] events they personally witnessed. Think of the implications! It it snows today in Chicago, and I fly to Chicago tomorrow, I can't conclude that it snowed in Chicago the day before because I wasn't there to see the snow fall. If we take this line of reasoning to its logical conclusion, no one was present when God created the universe, so any statement in the book of Genesis 'should be considered a theory.'"

Finally, none of this has to do with a desire to be more "scientific" or more accurate or to help the students in Mississippi schools obtain a deeper knowledge of the true origins of life. It is a blatant christianist attempt, once again, to impose their literalist biblicism upon captives in the public schools. All christianist statements pretending to give "both sides" a hearing are blatant lies!

A more detailed deconstruction of this Mississippi nonsense is here.

J. Matt Barber says NO to common ground

President Obama would very much like to find "common ground" with the wingnuts on the right who care only about abortion and homosexuality, both of which their god and the holy book says are bad, bad, bad.

J. Matt Barber, wingnut director of cultural affairs for Liberty Counsel, provides a good example as to why Obama should give up the "common ground" hope.

There is no common ground.

Barber says the following:

Obama is "an extreme leftist ideologue..."

Obama is "planning to implement ... the many-times-failed Marxist fiscal policies."

Obama's "national security goals" are "noxiously naive peacenik policies that have Mahmoud and Osama giggling themselves to sleep at night."

Obama, "on issues involving marriage, family and sexual morality ... [has] been even more brazen than some of his ardent detractors could have expected."

Obama plans to do many terrible ungodly things, such as: "Defeating all state and federal constitutional efforts to defend the millennia-old definition of natural marriage from attacks by 'gay marriage' activists"; he's going to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, which will "dangerously disrupt unit cohesion and troop morale; he's going to pass "constitutionally dubious and discriminatory 'hate crimes' legislation, granting homosexuals and cross-dressers exclusive rights - denied other Americans - based on sexual behaviors that are deviant, changeable, and widely regarded both here and around the world as immoral; he's going to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act; and he's "Creating intentionally motherless and fatherless homes and sexually confusing untold thousands of children by expanding 'gay adoption.'

Barber says that "Obama has told the world he is signing off, without exception, on every demand of the extremist homosexual and transsexual lobbies."

Barber speaks for many on the christianist right when he says that "it's becoming abundantly clear that Barack Obama's administration will be the most leftist, divisive and discriminatory in recent memory."

So much for "common ground." But it is great fun to read the rantings of these kooks on the right who have, in the recent past, been able to call up Chimpy in the White House and cry on his shoulder and get him to do their bidding. The game is up. They're on the outside looking in. They don't like it. They think because Obama doesn't fall for their line of bullshit, they are being discriminated against. Not.

In this regard, at least, happy days are here again. Go back to your cave, Mr. Barber. The Dark Ages are over!

Barber's complete article is here. And another interesting article here about his firing by Allstate Insurance Company.

Texe Marrs - wingnut extraordinaire

Insanity appears in many different forms. One form can be found at Power of Prophecy, a ministry of the notorious anti-Semite christianist, Texe Marrs.

Every once in awhile it is kinda fun to take a break from the rigors of reality and step into a world of delusion. When you come out of such a world, reality doesn't look quite so desperate.

So, take a deep breath and point your browser here. Power of Prophecy is "an end-times ministry called by God to exalt Jesus Christ and to expose darkness in these last days." On the ministry's website you can:

1. Buy the following video documentaries by Texe Marrs:

* "Baal's Shaft & Cleopatra's Needle - Phallic Architecture and Sex Monuments of the Illuminati,"

* "Where the Rich & Famous Dwell - Architectural Secrets of the Rothschilds, the Vanderbilts, the Rockefellers, the Astors, and Other Storied Bloodlines and Dynasties,"

* "Architectural Colossus - Mysterious Monuments of the Illuminati Enshroud the World With Magic and Seduction."

2. Buy Marr's "amazing new book, "Mysterious Monuments."

3. Learn about Marr's shortwave radio broadcast in which he discusses: "Rabbis Over the Vatican--Pope Benedict XVI Cedes Keys of Kingdom to Zionist Interlopers, Leaving One Billion Catholics Swallowed Up in a Thick Cloud of Jewish Deceit."

4. Buy Texes' book, "Codex Magica," a "masterpiece.

And much more.

You may want to take a shower when you finish.

Mexico City policy is going, going, gone!

[Notice the Repugnicans--out of touch, out of power, out of the loop. Image by Mark Wilson, Getty Images]

Yeah! Finally! The damnable so-called Mexico City policy has bit the dust! Back in 1984, Reagan, the B-grade movie actor turned prezident, instituted a rule that banned the federal government from funding any organizations that provide abortion and abortion counseling abroad.

The policy has been in effect except for a period during the Clinton administration.

The policy had no rational basis, of course, but was a sop to the extremist right and their religious pretensions.

Yesterday, President Obama "lifted the global gag rule."

Here's what he said:

"It is clear that the provisions of the Mexico City Policy are unnecessarily broad and unwarranted under current law, and for the past eight years, they have undermined efforts to promote safe and effective voluntary family planning in developing countries. For these reasons, it is right for us to rescind this policy and restore critical efforts to protect and empower women and promote global economic development.

"For too long, international family planning assistance has been a political wedge issue, the subject of a back and forth debate that has served only to divide us. I have no desire to continue this stale and fruitless debate.

"It is time that we end the politicization of this issue. In the coming weeks, my Administration will initiate a fresh conversation on family planning, working to find areas of common ground to best meet the needs of women and families at home and around the world.

"I have directed my staff to reach out to those on all sides of this issue to achieve the goal of reducing unintended pregnancies. They will also work to promote safe motherhood, reduce maternal and infant mortality rates and increase educational and economic opportunities for women and girls.

"In addition, I look forward to working with Congress to restore U.S. financial support for the U.N. Population Fund. By resuming funding to UNFPA, the U.S. will be joining 180 other donor nations working collaboratively to reduce poverty, improve the health of women and children, prevent HIV/AIDS and provide family planning assistance to women in 154 countries."

What a breath of fresh air! For eight long and miserable years, realistic approaches to the problems of the world have been stifled because of the recalcitrant ugliness of christianist bozos with their tentacles deep into Bush and his administration.

Finally, we can move ahead with actions based on reason and justice to provide real help to those in need.

I know that when Obama says his administration will try to find "common ground" with various groups, he is speaking in "hopeful" terms. It ain't gonna happen! There is no common ground to be had with the christianist right for they know the absolute "truth," and that includes the notion that all abortions are wrong, contraception is sin, and the Obama administration is doing the work of the devil.

Hopefully, the Obama administration will simply ignore their ignorant cries and genuflections to their godawful god.

Read all about it here.

Obama says listening to Limbaugh means nothing gets done

Obama to Republicans: "I won."

He could have, and should have, added: "Get over it. Get in line. Your policies, built on the rusting ruins of conservatism and Christian fundamentalism, are in shreds. We're giving the government back to ALL the people."

According to Charles Hurt at the New York Post, Obama also "warned Republicans on Capitol Hill today [Jan. 23] that they need to quit listening to radio king Rush Limbaugh if they want to get along with Democrats and the new administration.

"'You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done,' he told top GOP leaders, whom he had invited to the White House to discuss his nearly $1 trillion stimulus package."

Sometimes you have to take Republicans by the hand and gently show them the path to the future.

Hurt's entire article is here.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Florida redneck SUV (Photo)

You might think that the owner of a vehicle like this would be one of those "real" people, as opposed to the "elite," that Sarah Palin spoke so highly of - you know - the backbone of the country.

He refused to say whether he voted for Palin or not. Here's what he did say: "Git outta here! I knows who you are; one of them damn bloggers who sit on yer ass down in your mama's basement in yer jammies writin' evil stuff 'bout Sarah on yer computer! Yer as bad as them media folks. Now, scram!"

Well, that's what he might have said if we had talked to him.

Obama and abortion

Let's start here: the right wingnuts seldom, if ever, let facts get in the way of their delusions. Thus, Congressman Mike Pence, a Repugnican from Indiana insists that no matter what Obama does or doesn't do regarding abortion, "life is winning in America."

Pence believes (has faith) that "It is accurate to say life is losing in Washington, DC -- both in our judiciary [and] among a pro-abortion majority in the House and Senate, and now with the election of a pro-abortion president of the United States."

But is he worried? Nah. "But let me say with confidence," saith Pence confidently, " ... I believe life is winning in America. Despite the best efforts of the pro-abortion movement to defend abortion on demand, more Americans embrace the sanctity of life today than ever before -- especially younger Americans."

If only it were true, dear Mr. Pence. But it isn't. In fact, in a Time poll conducted between July 31 and August 4, 2008, fully 86 percent of those polled said abortion should be always legal or legal in some circumstances. Another university poll about the same time, indicated that 63 percent of Americans agreed with Roe v. Wade. In other words, a majority of Americans continue to favor a woman's right to choose and that abortion should be legal in this country.

President Obama made the following statement with regard to abortion while anti-abortion groups gathered around the country to pray God would change his mind and while, at the same time, pro-choice groups celebrated:

"On the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we are reminded that this decision not only protects women's health and reproductive freedom, but stands for a broader principle: that government should not intrude on our most private family matters. I remain committed to protecting a woman's right to choose.

"While this is a sensitive and often divisive issue, no matter what our views, we are united in our determination to prevent unintended pregnancies, reduce the need for abortion, and support women and families in the choices they make. To accomplish these goals, we must work to find common ground to expand access to affordable contraception, accurate health information, and preventative services.

"On this anniversary, we must also recommit ourselves more broadly to ensuring that our daughters have the same rights and opportunities as our sons: the chance to attain a world-class education; to have fulfilling careers in any industry; to be treated fairly and paid equally for their work; and to have no limits on their dreams. That is what I want to women everywhere."

Notice that Obama is not "pro-abortion," just as most people are not pro-abortion. But, unlike the christianist wingnuts, he realizes that the government has no business in women's business. It is fascinating to note that so many of the same people who always decry "big" government and government interference, strive desperately to enable means for the government to interfere with a woman's right to choose.

It is such a wonderful change to have a man in the White House who is not only moral and ethical, but understands the constitutional mandates under which he is called to carry out his responsibilities.

If only people like Pence understood their constitutional mandates!

How to pray for President Obama: pray that he fails

[Photo of Farah from]

Many of the christianist websites suggest that Barack Obama is a "dangerous" man in that he will "roll back" gains made by the right with regard to abortion, and that he will support the "homosexual agenda," and that he is unlikely to carry out "God's will" for our nation.

At the same time, christianists insist that "God is in control," and that, in spite of Obama's many failings, "good" Christians should pray for him as per biblical instructions based upon the notion that governments and rulers are appointed by God.

Joseph Farah, the poohbah at WorldNetDaily, disagrees with those weak and wimpy christianists and insists that the Bible doesn't say what it says, or if it does say what it says, that real Christians have misinterpreted what it says and need not pray for Obama except to pray that he fails.

In an article posted at WorldNetDaily on January 19, Farah says:

"Many American Christians believe, as an article of faith, that we are to pray for the success of our leaders.

"It has become a sort of conventional wisdom among soft-minded believers. The biblical proof-text for this misguided way of thinking is Romans 13:1-4."

Farah says that these verses and others do not give the whole picture. "...nowhere does the Bible ever suggest evil rulers are to be obeyed. When the rule of men conflicts with the commands of God, the Bible leaves no doubt about where we should stand.

"That's why I do not hesitate today in calling on godly Americans to pray that Barack Hussein Obama fail in his efforts to change our country from one anchored on self-governance and constitutional republicanism to one based on the raw and unlimited power of the central state.

"It would be folly to pray for his success in such an evil campaign."

Jesus H. Christ! Where do these christianist freaks come from? If you want to discuss a government "based on the raw and unlimited power of the central state," you cannot find a more apt example than the administration headed by George W. Bush and his reprehensible sidekick, Dickie Cheney!

But Farah isn't done: "I want to Obama to fail because his agenda is 100 percent at odds with God's. [Isn't that a cute bit of rhyming?] Pretending it is not simply makes a mockery of God's straightforward Commandments."

Nowhere does Farah spell out just why Obama is so evil and so intent on being at odds with God's agenda, other that his accusation that Obama intends to replace "self-governance and constitutional republicanism" with "the raw and unlimited power of the central state." And, as we said, that makes no sense at all.

In fact, if there is one thing Obama will do and has already begun, is return the rule of law to the White House and the presidency!

So, what is Farah afraid of? And why, if his god is in control, is he so worried?

It isn't Obama who is evil, it's people like this wingnut who use their faux religion to attack good people, working in unbelievably difficult circumstances to bring hope and sanity to a nation that has gone berserk.

You just can't get much more evil than that.

Farah's article is here.

Here's a clip from Olbermann in which Farah gets the nod for "Worst Person in the World"

Do not move to Florida, unless...

[Depression era bread line - Minnesota Public Radio]

The nation is in deep economic trouble. Florida's situation mirrors the nation's problems. For Floridians in need, it is becoming more difficult to get help. If you try to apply for state
unemployment benefits, you can expect a major hassle.

My suggestion is do not move to Florida unless you have a stash of cash or great retirement benefits, or one hell of a good job.

Jobs of any description are becoming more and more difficult to find. In fact, Florida's unemployment rate is now over 8%, the highest in 16 years!

One reason Florida is suffering economically is because in Florida, under Jeb Bush, we liked tax breaks for the rich, which, of course, devastated the state budget. But that wasn't enough. We liked tax breaks of any kind, even for the middle-class. So, we did those, too. Didn't solve the problem.

It did, however, create another huge problem. The state government, which has always been financially strapped, now has even less money to provide basic services for the people. Local governments and school districts share the same fate. Many of these have had to lay off people because of lack of funds, which means less services and poorer service.

If you're already in Florida, or are so dumb as to actually contemplate a move, be prepared. You may have to pave your own street, dig your own well, and dump your trash in your backyard. You may have no other choice than to home-school your kids, carry a gun for protection, and make sure you have enough water on hand to fight a fire.

I'm exaggerating, of course. Still....

One big and symptomatic problem is rearing its ugly head at the state labor department.

Go ahead and try to apply for unemployment benefits. According to an article in the Miami Herald, "there's no way to sign up in person, and those who apply by phone can expect either busy signals or waits of up to 90 minutes to speak to someone. ...

"In December alone, the department handled more than 157,000 applications, or almost triple the number from the same month in 2007. For all of 2008, the department handled 1.3 million applications, or almost twice as many as the previous year."

It appears other states are having similar problems keeping up with the workload as so many people are out of work and needing help to survive.

You may be one of those out of work people.

But, never fear, just remember what Limbaugh said: We're not in a recession or a depression. That's a lie perpetrated by the media. Furthermore, just get out there and pull yourself up by your bootstraps. You shouldn't be looking for help from the government anyway!

The Miami Herald article is here.

Rush Limbaugh - Economic advisor

A troubled woman, named "Marie" called ol' Rush on January 21 wondering what she should do: the value of her house has declined dramatically, and her business is on the ropes and she needs some hope. She didn't vote for Obama because she doesn't agree with his policies. But she's desperate.

Limbaugh, the suave economic advisor, said:

"Well, you might want to consult history. I don't know how old you are, but I've got a story in the stack that I'll get to quickly. It was much worse than this 26 years ago, Ronald Reagan's second year. The 1970s were an absolute disaster: double-digit unemployment, double-digit interest rates. Nobody could borrow because they couldn't afford it. You couldn't -- and back then, you had to have 20 percent down to buy a house unless you went with FHA, and even -- and that was very tough to qualify for back then. ... "

Later on Limbaugh returned to this subject:

"...I've been broke twice in my life. I've described the circumstances. I wouldn't be sitting around waiting for somebody to tell me what I should do, wouldn't be sitting around waiting for somebody in Washington to come up with a plan that's going to start getting people to spend money ... I would be doing everything I could to make money. If that meant a different line of work, so be it. ... I think poor Marie has been subjected to how many years of media attempts to create a crisis mentality where the economy is concerned. For five years, at least, the media's been trying to convince every one of you that we're already in a recession, and now, they're trying to convince you we are in a depression, that it is worse than the Great Depression, and it isn't.

"We haven't even gotten close to how bad it was in the 1970s. We haven't gotten close to the recession in 1982."

You'll notice first of all, Limbaugh eviscerates the truth with nonsensical rantings about how our economy was much worse in the 1970s and in 1982. Not quite. I remember those times quite well. They don't begin to compare with our present situation. Of course, as per Rush, we're not in a recession/depression; such thinking is a figment of the imagination perpetrated by the media!

Perhaps this call was merely a setup so Rush could blather on about pulling one's self up by his/her bootstraps and chant the usual mantra about how big government is bad and shouldn't be expected to bail people out of trouble.

Limbaugh, of course, is first of all an "entertainer," and I use that word loosely. Thus truth or knowledge are not included in his on-air lexicon. In this particular case, his immediate goal is to make sure his deluded listeners undersand that President Obama won't be able to help them.

Obama's a liberal, for god's sake. We need another George W. Bush with strong, conservative principles!

And Limbaugh's a moonpie.

h/t to Media Matters

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Calling America to repentance

[Note:  Today, March 8, 2011, Mr. Marcavage wrote to tell me that the photo appearing in this space was copyrighted and he held the copyright and he wanted it removed.  We removed the photo.  But you can be sure that Marcavage is still fighting for his god and agin all the bad liberal folks out in America land.  Too bad.  We have enough wackos in this country!]

Michael Marcavage has been publicly protesting against liberals, homos, abortionists and other anti-Christians for years. At the time of Bush's second inauguration, he was in Washington leading a protest claiming Bush was too liberal!

Marcavage is the president of an extremist outfit called Repent America, an organization that puts the loops in fruitloops. They're all about proclaiming the "gospel" to the heathens in America, which is almost everybody except themselves.

Like most other right wingnut christianist groups they can't abide President Obama who is already beginning to put into effect items on his "ungodly" agenda. You can guess what items they're talking about.

So, America has to repent and go back to Bible-believing and rid ourselves of abortionists, homosexuals and liberals. We've got to get in good with God by putting prayer back in the public schools and the public square, and build out nation on godly principles.

For those reasons, Marcavage and a bunch of his wacko cronies were at Obama's inauguration, wandering about the National Mall, confronting people with the "gospel." They installed a public address system near the Washington Monument, so people would be sure to hear every word of their religious ranting.

According to Marcavage, his followers also went out and about trying to connect with people in one-on-one witnessing.

We must "be in service to our King and do as he says," proclaims Marcavage.

He also noted that the authorities did not give his group any trouble, but a few "church-going spectators displayed hostility."

Really? Who'd a thunk it?

Let us spray.

The website for Repent America is here. An interesting article on the wacko, Marcavage is here.

And here is a short video of Marcavage "preaching" the love of Jesus.

Voters against Clinton

Ninety-four senators voted to confirm Senator Hillary Clinton as our new Secretary of State. Two senators were opposed.

It is possible that two of 96 senators were so convinced that Hillary Clinton would be a really bad Secretary of State that they could not in good conscience vote for her confirmation. It is possible that two of 96 senators were feeling their ethical oats and instead of going along with the crowd, stood on principle and voted no.

But then we learn who those two senators were: Jim DeMint of South Carolina, and David Vitter of Louisiana.

I have written on several occasions about Jim DeMint and David Vitter and those articles can be accessed by simply typing their names in the "Search" bar on the right side of the blog.

Perhaps the most important DeMint article is here, and the most important Vitter articles is here.

Suffice it to say that neither of these two nogoodniks worry much about ethics or morals. Their negative votes on Clinton's confirmation had nothing to do with principle. DeMint, known better as the Candy Man, deplores the lack of religious values in our country. Vitter is best known for his adulation and thus, solicitation, of prostitutes (but God and his wife have forgiven him).

Neither of these men voted negatively on Clinton because they were trying to do what they believed the "right" thing. Their votes were carefully calculated political maneuvers pandering the the rightwing fruitcakes in their respective districts. They are soon up for re-election.

It is so wonderful, though, to know that unlike past years, people like da Candy Man and Vitter are out of power and huff and puff though they may, they cannot blow down the house of Obama and the people.

More on Jim DeMint here.

Jesus license plate (Photo)

When you look at a license plate like this, do you:

1) Believe that North Carolinians are Jesus lovers?
2) Believe that North Carolinians are nuts?
3) Believe that North Carolinians are religious wackos?
4) Believe that people will see this plate and accept Jesus as their personal savior?
5) Want to get a plate just like this one?
6) Think Tim Tebow should write Jesus under each eye?

I don't have a poll system set up, so if you wish to make your feelings known, do so on the comment form.

Fairness doctrine is undemocratic say christianists

Fundamentalist Christians are up in arms about lots of things now that a decent, moral and ethical human being is residing in the White House.

One of them is the perceived threat that the so-called "Fairness Doctrine" will be reinstated, requiring broadcasters using the public airwaves to present both sides of an issue.

That's the way it used to be. Then, the B-grade movie actor (Reagan) turned prezident overturned the policy.

Which made the fundies and the wackos like Rush Limbaugh ooze with gratuitous gratitude. Now they could say anything they wanted without fear of contradiction by intelligent people living in the real world.

One of the christianists most loudly opposed to re-instating the Fairness Doctrine is Roberta Combs, rightwingnut president of the Christian Coalition. "Pelosi's party of freedom does not want freedom on the airwaves," whines Ms. Combs.

Christiannewswire, after deep theological contemplation, says "Liberals know that this 'Fairness Doctrine' law would intimidate radio station owners not to carry hours of conservative talk (because they would have to offer hours of liberal talk) - meaning shows like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly would be a thing of the past. They know that conservative talk radio is one of the biggest obstacles standing between them and being able to implement the rest of their radical liberal agenda."

Yup. That's how Obama didn't get elected: conservative talk radio!

And you imagine a world without Limbaugh, Hannity and O'Reilly? (Smile.)

The Christian Coalition (which is not very "Christian" and not much of a coalition these days) is fighting back with an on-line campaign "to ensure that the onerous 'Fairness Doctrine' is not reinstituted by Congress or by the Obama Administration."

Let's see how well that works.

They've got one backer already - the great Senator Jim DeMint, Repugnican of South Carolina! Jim, as we know, is one of the really moral, ethical, and intelligent members of the Washington Zoo, so we're not surprised.

DeMint and three other Repugnicans have introduced the Broadcaster Freedom Act of 2009 which will "prevent the Federal Communications Commission (FCC( from reinstating the Fairness Doctrine, which would suppress free speech by requiring the government to monitor political views and decide what constitutes fair political discourse."

There is so little honesty in the Repugnican Party these days that statements like the above are par for the course. Far from suppressing free speech, the Fairness Doctrine would create more free speech. The more a radio station promoted a particular point of view, the more we would hear another, opposing view.

Furthermore, as I understand it, the Fairness Doctrine does not require the government to "monitor political views and decide what constitutes fair political discourse," but merely to ensure that opposing views are given equal time.

The real question is: What are the fundy christianists afraid of? Truth? Accountability? Honesty?

I like what The Freethinker said: "When will these nutters get it through their Bible-fogged brains that their days of religious privilege - mercifully - are fast-dwindling, and that have absolutely no right to continue demanding special treatment purely on the basis of their stupid delusions?"

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Catholic Bishop denies Holocaust

This from Ruth Gledhill at Times Online.

"Bishop Richard Williamson is a hardline ultra-conservative bishop of the Society of St. Pius X. He faces possible prosecution for Holocaust denial in Germany after an interview with a reporter from Stockholm TV in which he claimed that six million Jews did not die in the Holocaust, merely a few thousand, and that the gas chambers did not exist. ... In an earlier story in the Catholic Herald, Bishop Williamson, former Anglican and a Cambridge graduate, was exposed as endorsing the forgery, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion."

This report puts another crack in the relationship between the Vatican and Jewish leaders around the world. There are enough cracks in that relationship now that it won't be repaired in an easy or timely fashion.

Benedict XVI doesn't seem to be very interested in fixing it, anyway.

Read Gledhill's complete article here.

Video link for Stockholm TV interview here. (It is in English)

And another interesting story about wack job Williamson here.

Praying for the pre-born in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center

Why in the name of God do a bunch of anti-abortion clergy and hangers-on need to hold a "National Service for the Pre-Born" in the new US Capitol Visitor Center?

These self-appointed guardians of public morality are marginal religious figures who have a desperate need to put themselves into a spotlight not realizing that only highlights their idiocy.

Evidently they were not going to be allowed to do their public pleading to their deity inside the US Capitol Visitor Center, but Senator Orrin Hatch, Mormon Repugnican from Utah, intervened on behalf of the wackos, and thus they will, tomorrow morning, January 22, gather to praise all fetuses everywhere.

The main outfits involved in this presumptuous religious exercise are the National Pro-Life Religious Council, the National Clergy Council, Priests for Life and Faith and Action. They claim that they will be joined by "dozens of clergy and other pro-life leaders from every Christian denomination and tradition."

Not quite. Not even close.

Rob Schenck, who runs a minor ministry in Washington, D.C., and runs around praying for Congresspeople, claims that "This year's Pre-born Service is more important than ever. We now have an administration that threatens to reverse all the pro-life gains of the last eight years. We must be a strong witness to the Gospel of Life in the midst of the Congress. ... I am very grateful to Senator Hatch for working so hard on our behalf."

If, indeed, there is to be no establishment of religion in this country, why in god's name would Senator Hatch involve himself in this frenzied flourish for fetuses and actually arrange for these wacko preachers to pray in a public building?

Would he do the same for other religious groups?

There's more here. A video of Schenck yammering about the "pre-born" service here. Schenck's website here. Schenck's blog here.

The Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery's inaugural benediction

[AP Photo]

I have printed the prayers of Bishop Robinson and Rick Warren. The best of the bunch, by far, was the benediction, given by the Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery, the man who walked with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and who led the march on Selma so many years ago.

If we must nod to god at government function, Lowery does it better. And the last paragraph is the best, even if the moron, Glenn Beck, thinks it racist and attacks the poor abused white folks.

God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, thou who has brought us thus far along the way, thou who has by thy might led us into the light, keep us forever in the path, we pray, lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met thee, lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget thee. Shadowed beneath thy hand may we forever stand — true to thee, O God, and true to our native land.

We truly give thanks for the glorious experience we’ve shared this day. We pray now, O Lord, for your blessing upon thy servant, Barack Obama, the 44th president of these United States, his family and his administration. He has come to this high office at a low moment in the national and, indeed, the global fiscal climate. But because we know you got the whole world in your hand, we pray for not only our nation, but for the community of nations. Our faith does not shrink, though pressed by the flood of mortal ills.

For we know that, Lord, you’re able and you’re willing to work through faithful leadership to restore stability, mend our brokenness, heal our wounds and deliver us from the exploitation of the poor or the least of these and from favoritism toward the rich, the elite of these.

We thank you for the empowering of thy servant, our 44th president, to inspire our nation to believe that, yes, we can work together to achieve a more perfect union. And while we have sown the seeds of greed — the wind of greed and corruption, and even as we reap the whirlwind of social and economic disruption, we seek forgiveness and we come in a spirit of unity and solidarity to commit our support to our president by our willingness to make sacrifices, to respect your creation, to turn to each other and not on each other.

And now, Lord, in the complex arena of human relations, help us to make choices on the side of love, not hate; on the side of inclusion, not exclusion; tolerance, not intolerance.

And as we leave this mountaintop, help us to hold on to the spirit of fellowship and the oneness of our family. Let us take that power back to our homes, our workplaces, our churches, our temples, our mosques, or wherever we seek your will.

Bless President Barack, First Lady Michelle. Look over our little, angelic Sasha and Malia.

We go now to walk together, children, pledging that we won’t get weary in the difficult days ahead. We know you will not leave us alone, with your hands of power and your heart of love.

Help us then, now, Lord, to work for that day when nation shall not lift up sword against nation, when tanks will be beaten into tractors, when every man and every woman shall sit under his or her own vine and fig tree, and none shall be afraid; when justice will roll down like waters and righteousness as a mighty stream.

Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around — (laughter) — when yellow will be mellow — (laughter) — when the red man can get ahead, man — (laughter) — and when white will embrace what is right.

Let all those who do justice and love mercy say amen.

Audience: Amen!

Lowery: Say amen

Audience: Amen!

Lowery: And amen.

Audience: Amen! (Cheers, applause.)

Below is Glenn Beck's feigned outrage.

h/t to Friendly Atheist

In Times Gone By

Thanks to Andre at Flea Snobbery. Click here for more of his excellent work.

Rush Limbaugh wants Obama to fail

Rush Limbaugh, is a big, fat, ugly, white guy with no heart and no brain. So, whatever he says is not surprising. It is usually mean-spirited, false, untrue, nasty, idiotic, stupid, cruel, etc., but it is not surprising.

Limbaugh thinks the inauguration of President Barack Obama was a miserable failure, a flop, a joke, nothing more than another campaign event. Heh, heh.

He has a right to his opinion, of course, in spite of the fact that millions of people around the world would heartily disagree, but that's only the beginning.

Limbaugh wants President Obama to fail as president. Here's what he said on his radio show last Friday:

"I disagree fervently with the people on our [Republican] side of the aisle who have caved and who say, ‘Well, I hope he succeeds.’”

Then he mentioned he had been asked by “a major American print publication” to offer a 400-word statement explaining his “hope for the Obama presidency.” He responded:

"So I'm thinking of replying to the guy, 'Okay, I'll send you a response, but I don't need 400 words, I need four. I hope he fails. What are you laughing at? See, here's the point. Everybody thinks it's outrageous to say. Look, even my staff, 'Oh, you can't do that.' Why not? Why is it any different, what's new, what is unfair about my saying I hope liberalism fails? Liberalism is our problem. Liberalism is what's gotten us dangerously close to the precipe here. Why do I want more of it? I don't care what the Drive-By story is. I would be honored if the Drive-By Media headlined me all day long: 'Limbaugh: I Hope Obama Fails.' Somebody's gotta say it."

What the fat, ugly white man is really promoting, of course, is the failure of the country. And, he knows very well that "liberalism" isn't the problem, but the cure. The problems of our nation are not the result of liberalism, but are the spawn of the "conservative" politics Limbaugh showcases.

And what he doesn't realize is that his day is over. The country has moved in another direction. The population is changing rapidly and dramatically. Limbaugh, a sad and pathetic excuse for a human being, will find his audience made up of more and more of the marginalized, the mentally ill, the dumb and dumber, and the world will pass him by like roadkill on an Interstate.

Colorado Ski Bunny (Photo)

This is a Colorado Ski Bunny, a rare and beautiful creature. I believe they are on the endangered species list. We were most fortunate to obtain this photo, as Colorado Ski Bunnies are very difficult to locate in the wild. They tend to avoid people and when confronted fly like the wind down the slopes.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Dick Cheney, Bond bad guy in wheelchair

[Reuters Image]

I'm sure I've seen this movie. Wasn't it one of the early Bond flicks? The wheelchair guy was a really, really bad person. Wanted to destroy the world. Or at least the United States! Whatever happened to him?

Rick Warren, hypocritical invocator, in Jesus' name

AOL News says Rick Warren got a "tepid" response for his invocating skills at Obama's inauguration.

AOL News also says that some folks appeared to be moved emotionally, standing with arms outstretched and tears in their eyes.

To each his/her own.

While I thought it was suffocating and boring, Warren's invocation (prayer) was what I expected: an overly-long sermon as to what God should do and Obama should do and all of us should do.

A major problem is that Warren may speak of inclusiveness, about treating one another with respect, but he doesn't mean it. We know how he treats homosexuals (e.g. they cannot be members of his church; he opposed Proposition 8 in California); we know what he thinks of those who are pro-choice (he opposed Obama for president on the grounds he was pro-abortion); we know he believes that all people who have not accepted Jesus will burn forever in hell. We know these things because he has said these things with no qualification or equivocation. When he says [God] "is loving to everyone" he has made, the unspoken qualifier is always that, in spite of God's loving nature, those who chose not to accept Jesus are doomed forever.

We also know that the god he prayed to today is the Christian god. Atheists, agnostics, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhist, etc., were excluded. This was a christianist prayer based on the wrong-headed assumption the United States is a Christian nation.

Some of what he said was indeed appropriate, such as his prayers for President Obama and his family and our nation as a whole. But, again, it was very much a sermon, reminding us and God of our mutual responsibilities.

And he just couldn't help "humbly" asking all this of his god in the name of Jesus and then reciting the specifically Christian "Lord's Prayer."

It was a predictable, utterly unnecessary and inappropriate nod to God, and likely indicated to people of other faiths and to unbelievers all over the world that we are hypocrites, rewriting our Constitution to serve our own prejudices. In other words, to those without knowledge of our Constitution, Warren's invocation would leave the clear impression that we have established the christianist religion in our land.

Here's the text of the prayer:

Let us pray.

Almighty God, our Father, everything we see and everything we can’t see exists because of you alone. It all comes from you. It all belongs to you. It all exists for your glory.

History is your story. The Scripture tells us, “Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God. The Lord is One.” And you are the compassionate and merciful one. And you are loving to everyone you have made.

Now, today, we rejoice not only in America’s peaceful transfer of power for the 44th time. We celebrate a hingepoint of history with the inauguration of our first African American president of the United States. We are so grateful to live in this land, a land of unequaled possibility, where the son of an African immigrant can rise to the highest level of our leadership. And we know today that Dr. King and a great cloud of witnesses are shouting in heaven.Give to our new President, Barack Obama, the wisdom to lead us with humility, the courage to lead us with integrity, the compassion to lead us with generosity. Bless and protect him, his family, Vice President Biden, the cabinet, and every one of our freely elected leaders.

Help us, O God, to remember that we are Americans, united not by race, or religion, or blood, but to our commitment to freedom and justice for all. When we focus on ourselves, when we fight each other, when we forget you, forgive us. When we presume that our greatness and our prosperity is ours alone, forgive us. When we fail to treat our fellow human beings and all the earth with the respect that they deserve, forgive us. And as we face these difficult days ahead, may we have a new birth of clarity in our aims, responsibility in our actions, humility in our approaches, and civility in our attitudes, even when we differ.

Help us to share, to serve and to seek the common good of all. May all people of good will today join together to work for a more just, a more healthy and a more prosperous nation and a peaceful planet. And may we never forget that one day all nations and all people will stand accountable before you. We now commit our new president and his wife, Michelle and his daughters, Malia and Sasha, into your loving care.

I humbly ask this in the name of the one who changed my life, Yeshua, Isa, Jesus [Spanish pronunciation], Jesus, who taught us to pray:

“Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”

Inauguration Day and text of Obama's speech

Inaugural Speech of President Barack Obama

Tuesday, January 20, 2009, Washington, D.C.

My fellow citizens:

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans. That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our healthcare ...

... is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land -- a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America -- they will be met.

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted -- for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things -- some celebrated, but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions -- that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act -- not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise healthcare's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions -- who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them -- that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works -- whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account -- to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day -- because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control -- and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart -- not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort -- even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West -- know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment -- a moment that will define a generation -- it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job, which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends -- hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism -- these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility -- a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence -- the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed -- why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

"Let it be told to the future world ... that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive ... that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]."

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back, nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations. -- Barack H. Obama.

(From the LA Times)

Good example or good advice? (Photo)

Would you say this is a good example of good advice? Or is it a bad example of good advice? Or is it a good example of bad advice? Or is it possibly a bad example of bad advice?


AP article on Bush - not quite the truth!

The media has handled George W. Bush with kid gloves for eight years, and that warm and fuzzy treatment didn't end when the disaster president left Washington today to head home to the Lone Star state.

Here's a paragraph from an Associated Press article which described Bush's helicopter departure:

"As he left the White House for the last time Tuesday morning, Bush blew a kiss out the window of his presidential limousine, a goodbye gesture at the closing of a two-term administration that confronted the biggest terrorist attack on U.S. soil, war and recession."

No! No! No!

George W. Bush did not "confront" any of the three: A terrorist attack, war, or recession. It would be more correct to say the following:

George W. Bush, because of his inattention and disinterest in the intelligence reports he received, was instrumental in allowing the 9/11 terrorist attacks to happen. It is very likely he and his administration could have taken action that would have prevented those attacks.

Instead, after the fact, he used the 9/11 attacks to justify a variety of direct assaults on our Constitution, including the right to habeas corpus, the right of privacy, and the right to a fair trial.

George W. Bush did not "confront" a war, he started a war, preemptively invading a country under false pretenses, to protect our access to its oil , again using 9/11 as a rationale.

George W. Bush did not "confront" a recession. His policies and his appointees paved the way for the worst economic breakdown this country has seen in many moons by huge tax cuts, massive borrowing to fund war on two fronts and total disregard for financial regulation, among other things.

One wonders if things would have been different if the media had done its job over the past eight years.

Unfortunately, it did not do its job, and today, even as the coddled "cowboy" takes his long-awaited leave of the White House, the Associated Press cannot cease pandering to this most pitiful of political partisans.

President Obama - We wish you well!

Mr. President

From the bottom of our hearts
With every fiber of our being
We wish you well

From north and west
From south and east
We wish you well

From black and white
From rich and poor
We wish you well

From young and old
From strong and weak
We wish you well

From red state and from blue state
From every state between
We wish you well

From Mayflowered descendants
From proud and happy immigrants
We wish you well

Mr. President

We the people stand as one
From sea to shining sea
We walk together, hand in hand
For we are strong and free

On this inauguration
A day of hope renewed
We dare once more believe

Yes, we can, and
Yes, we will, and
Yes, we wish you well!

G.W. Bush: Going, going, GONE!!!

George W. Bush, 43rd president of the United States is gone, swept into the dustbin of history, to be remembered as arguably the worst president ever. Bush leaves amidst a renewed call for integrity, accountability, transparency and the rule of reason, not piety or ideology.

Bush never understood these three words, with which our Constitution begins: "We the people..." A pretender to a non-existent throne, we the people of the United States can only rejoice in his departure.

Now, together, we must begin the process of piecing back together the nation he has left in shredded disarray.

Can we do it? Yes, we can!

Moron praises God for "miracle" on the Hudson

Of course, it wasn't a "miracle" at all. When US Airways Airbus 320, Flight 1549, went down in the Hudson River, the 155 passengers were "saved" by the timely and professional actions of the pilot, Chesley Sullenberger III, and the crew.

No "miracle" was involved, no matter what the governor of New York or the media says.

That didn't stop the moron, aka Edward Current, from blathering on about miracles and God's good works.

For a more thorough debunking of this moron's so-called "miracle," click here.

(h/t to Pharyngula)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Praying for a Christian Nation

[Patrick Mahoney being arrested in front of White House
while calling for Bush to boycott the opening ceremonies
of the Summer Olympics in Bejing. Photo from]

The prayer and fasting is over. The final prayer, which was to take place this morning, should be finis. Maybe Patrick J. Mahoney will go home now and take his bible-toting sycophants with him. Or not.

We do have freedom of speech in this country, and Mahoney can stand anywhere he wishes (pretty much) and pray his little heart out. He can even bring his christianist reconstructionists to Washington and stand in front of the White House and call on his god to make this country a "christianist" nation.

It's just all so stupid and boring. But it is also dangerous.

Mahony, you see, is the director of the infamous christianist outfit known as the Christian Defense Coalition.

(Have you ever noticed how so many of these extremist christianist outfits use military-sounding names? They must perceive themselves warring for their god against a godless and pagan culture, overrun with liberals, Democrats, non-Christians, and other dangerous and scary people.)

Anyway, Mahoney and a group of delusional followers have been fasting and praying for President-elect Obama for the past 19 days out in clear view of the White House as well as in their respective homes and churches.

Now, you might think: What could be wrong with that? All people of faith should be praying for President-elect Obama.

Except, and here's the kicker: Mahoney doesn't care much about Barack Obama. He would have preferred just about anyone as president other than Barack Obama. What he wants is to induce his god to force Barack Obama's hand and turn the United States into a christianist country run by christianist rules. That's what he's really praying for.

He wants Obama to ban abortion, stem-cell research, and gay rights. He wants Obama to put prayer back in the public schools, post the Ten Commandments in courthouses all over the country, place born-againers in positions of the highest responsibility, and appoint judges who will ignore the Constitution if it conflicts with the christianist viewpoint.

Mahoney was one of the three wacko "anointers" who gathered in the Capitol a few days ago to pray and "bless" the doorway through which Obama will walk to his inauguration.

The Website of the Christian Defense Coalition talks about how christianists much be "radical" and must be about "Biblical obedience."

The goal of the Christian Defense Coalition is "to see all public policies and institutions based on the principles of God's Word and the historic teaching of the Church." (My emphasis)

In other words, the Christian Defense Coalition is a subversive organization. That is clearly stated in the goal above, for such a goal could only be accomplished by abolishing or at the least, rewriting our Constitution.

May their days be numbered upon the earth.

Read this article and be afraid, be very afraid. Here's another point of view by the extremist christianist Minutemen.

The importance of the First Amendment

AOL News tells the story of an Australian writer, Harry Nicolaides, who was sentenced by Bangkok's Criminal
Court to six years in prison for "insulting Thailand's royal family" in his 2005 novel, "Verisimilitude."

The book is fiction. It sold seven copies. The passage in question relates to "the personal life of a fictional prince" which "suggested that there was an abuse of royal power."

Nicolaides' sentenced was reduced to three years by the judge because "he had entered a guilty plea."

"This can't be real. It feels like a bad dream," said Nicolaides, tearfully.

Thailand has a law, known as "lese majeste," which "mandates a penalty of three to 15 years imprisonment for 'whoever defames, insults or threatens the king, the queen, the heir to the throne or the Regent."

It's a law the departing George W. Bush, the evil Cheney and the dastardly Karl Rove would love.

Compare the following and thank your lucky stars you live in the U.S. of A. where soon da Bush and his cronies will be "history":

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

--The Constitution of the United States, Amendment I.

The AOL article is here.