Saturday, April 18, 2009

Sign of the times - morons and idiots

[Photo from The Huffington Post by Tony Ramao - Chicago]

The so-called tea parties, which were paid for and orchestrated by FAUX News and other rightwing outfits and individuals, were pretty much a dud in terms of what a decent protest should look like. But, as someone else said, the Repugnican Party and its leaders still haven't learned that one cannot foment revolution from the top down.

Nevertheless, a closer examination of the morons and idiots participating in these "parties" gives us a glimpse as to the ignorance and stupidity of those involved. It also indicates the underlying racism that was prevalent.

The Huffington Post has a story on this as does Mike Madden at Salon.

Madden, for example, tells how walking through Lafayette Park, one could select a person at random and discover the depth of wingnuttery.

One woman said, "I think Obama's plan is to create a catastrophic failure in our economic system, because then people will get desperate, and then you have the ability for a totalitarian government to move in."

It is simply mind-boggling how someone cannot see that if anyone was instrumental in leading us toward totalitarianism, it was/is not Obama but George and Dickie. To accuse President Obama of deliberately planning "a catastrophic failure in our economic sytem," indicates a non-functioning brain. She should not be allowed out of the house or to drive a car.

Her son, a Marine, 19 years of age, a branch of the same tree, held up a sign which accused "Barney Frank and other Democrats of treason." And this guy carries a weapon!

Then, the woman posed a threat: Indicating that America under Obama equates to Italy under Mussolini, she said "look at what happened to him [Mussolini]," which was a brittle reminder of how blacks were routinely hung by disgruntled whites not long ago in our history. But just in case anyone missed the point, she continued, "I would remind Obama of that," she said.

A man, unsure of what he was doing at a tea party, proclaimed his love for his country but really thought that on 9/11 the terrorists bombed the wrong building. "They should have gone into the Capitol building, hit out, knocked out both sides of the aisle, we'd start from scratch, we'd be better off today."

One of the signs hoisted by another nogoodnik read "Ameristan -- of the gov'nt, by the gov'nt, for the gov'nt, Barack Hussein Obama."

Another proclaimed "Restore the Republic."

Then, says Madden, a man shouted, "They're nothing but Marxist, socialist Communists in there," as he pointed toward the White House.

"Someone standing alone on the grass," writes Madden, "about 30 yards from the stage, had a sign calling Obama 'Soetero' -- the name of his Indonesian stepfather -- and telling the president he'd have to get through the guy with the sign if he wanted to destroy the country."

What Madden describes was replicated at each of these tea parties across the country: Morons and idiots prancing around shouting nonsense at people just as dumb as they are. Fortunately, these morons and idiots do not represent the great majority of people in our nation who think that President Obama is doing a good job.

If Texas secedes, it would be nice if all these morons and idiots who are not now living in Texas, could move there.

You can read all of Madden's article here.

The Huffington Post has 10 of the most offensive protest signs here.

Rick Perry' tempest in a teapot

[Photo of Governor Goodhair - so dubbed by Molly Ivins - from AP at]

I'm constantly in awe of the fact that so many prominent Repugnicans are so damn dumb. Rick Perry, governor of Texas, who has threatened that Texas might secede from the union, is high on the list of dumbnuts.

Alex Koppelman at Salon notes that after appearing at a tea rally in his state, Perry told reporters that when Texas entered the union in 1845 "one of the issues was that we would be able to leave if we decided to do that."

Well, not quite. Koppelman notes that AP checked with the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, and found that Perry's statement is not true.

This tempest in a teapot, if you will, was discussed at The Last Chance Democracy Cafe, where it was noted some folks on the left believe that Texas leaving the union would be a good thing. It would mean the union would lose one of its largest bunch of recalcitrant right wing nogoodniks, and take a swing toward sanity!

"Besides, one can hardly help but be intrigued by any suggestion that would result in both Karl Rove and George W. Bush having to get a visa to enter the country. If Homeland Security does even a half-assed job, we should never have to see either one of them again."

What could possibly be wrong with that?

One of the more to-the-point comments made with regard to the post at The Last Chance Democracy Cafe came from "bettysdad," who said:

"I'm greatly looking forward to Texas seceding.

"After the paperwork is done, the US should go in and seize or destroy everything in Texas built by the Feds.

"Aided by the US, Mexico should invade Texas to reclaims it's [sic] stolen property.

"Then, Texas will be 'illegal aliens,' and will be dealt with appropriately."

Oh, and as The Last Chance Democracy Cafe suggests to Texas, "Don't let the door hit you on the ass on your way out!"

Koppelman here. Last Chance Democracy Cafe here.

Friday, April 17, 2009

One brave soul amidst the racist hordes in Pensacola

Thanks to BuzzFlash, where you can find much more.

University chaplains - toss 'em!

[Image from here.]

PZ Myers at Pharyngula tells the tale about the Harvard University Islamic chaplain, who, in a recent e-mail sent to a student, said that there was "great wisdom (hikma) associated with the established and preserved position (capital punishment [for apostates] and so, even it if makes some uncomfortable in the face of the hegemonic modern human rights discourse, one should not dismiss it out of hand."

Okay. A chaplain at one of our most prestigious universities endorses murdering those who do not follow Islam. Okay, he didn't say it in those words, but what other possible interpretation can be derived? It's an "established and preserved position," says the chaplain!

And if should make some people "uncomfortable," that does mean it isn't a good idea.

The Islamic chaplain's name is Taha Abdul-Basser.

Of course he should be fired. He should be shunned in the academic community.

Better yet, follow Myers' suggestion: "dismiss Abdul-Basser out of hand. To be fair, fire every single one of the university chaplains, and send them packing. Universities should not be in the business of pandering to student superstitions; it's not as if there is a dearth of churches and chapels and religious organizations already surrounding and intruding upon the campus - remove the official endorsement of the administration and banish them all from the secular business of running a university."

And all (or a growing number) of the people said, Amen!

Read Myers' article here.

More here.

Mr. President, you are wrong - Keith Olbermann

And I think Mr. Olbermann is right.

Sarah Palin - GOP standard bearer!

[Image by Getty from the Huffington Post]

Let's see:

Everyone of Sarah Palin's appointees or nominees has been voted down, declined or withdrawn. That adds up to zero percent approval!

The legislators in the Alaska state house are thoroughly pissed that Palin decided to go speaking to an anti-choice group on the last week of business, an especially busy time. They shouldn't be surprised, though, for it is clear by now that Sarah does whatever Sarah wants - especially if she thinks it will strengthen her image as a GOPhew "standard bearer."

The Anchorage Daily News, a newspaper of some note, has castigated Sarah in an op-ed for being "reluctant to take Alaska's full $930.7 million share of federal stimulus money. Failure to take the money will hurt our economy, cost jobs and deny extra help to the state's school children," says the ADN.

Hmmm. That should be surprising either. Sarah's a Repugnican. Principles over people is the mantra [unless of course, the "people" are fetuses]. Even if the so-called "principles" are a crock.

As I've noted before, it is very likely that at the last moment Sarah will sigh heavily and give in and accept the money. That way she can keep her bonafides as another lunatic Republican governor but still look good to the hoi polloi in Alaska by grabbing that fistful of dollars from the feds. (Not that she's ever in the past had a problem with federal money - she's actually gone looking for it - when she wasn't looking for Russia!)

So, what's Sarah been up to on this last week of the legislative session when she should have been back home in Alaska tending to the state's business?

Palin, the prevaricator, has dragged the first Dude down to Evansville, Indiana in order to speak at a convention of anti-choice rightwingnuts. Her favorite kind of people!

So she said all the usual things: abortion is bad, Trig is wonderful because he's made in the image of God (whatever the hell that means!), and she used the same old tired language about "culture of life" and how the good guys (rightwingnuts) must keep plugging along to maintain that "culture of life," which means reversing Roe v. Wade.

Oh, yes, she also blasted the President for backing a woman's right to choose, and for supporting stem-cell research. Naturally. And she got in a nasty, which is her forte, by saying something about how protecting babies is not above her pay grade; which may be true, I suppose, but everything else sure is!

The wingnuts stood and applauded and the heavens opened up and a voice came down saying "This is my beloved daughter, make her president." All the people cheered.

But, and this is the funniest thing: Michael Steele, erstwhile without-a-clue chair of the Republican National Committee, commented that he thought Palin the prevaricator was the party's standard bearer - or, at least one of them. He did lump her in with the other kookaberries like Mitt Romney, the rich Mormon; Tim Pawlenty, the born-again nogoodnik from Minnesota; Mark Sanford, the dork who disses the stimulus from South Carolina; Rudy Guiliani, the much-married, adulterous cross-dresser from New York; Eric Cantor who has become the Repugnican House clown; and Mike Pence who, like Palin is truth-challenged.

What a great bunch! These are the GOP standard bearers, and Palin stands right up at the head of the class.

No wonder anyone with a brain has pronounced the Republican Party is dead.

May it forever stay that way!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Rachel helps us understand Tea Bagging Protests

Thanks to Tengrain at Mock, Paper, Scissors.

Priest Off

Thanks to God is for Suckers!

Reflections on the Republican Party and the State of the Union

In the latest issue of Harper's, Garret Keizer has an excellent article entitled, "Shine, Perishing Republicans," in which he lays out not only the current dilemma of the Republican Party but his hope that it can reclaim its core values and become a contributing member of our ongoing political dialog and drama.

But it's a long road from here to there, for the Republican Party doesn't seem to understand just how "far it has fallen.

"Ask someone on the street or in the blogosphere to describe what makes the party's current predicament so ironic, and you might hear something like this: The Republican Party was supposed to stand for small government and fiscal restraint, and instead it has given us big government and the virtual socialization of large segments of our economy."

With that in mind, the irony of the moronic tea baggers becomes even more of a national joke, making the poor, deluded fools waving signs at the behest of their largely unknown wingnut sponsors and FAUX News, appear to be as dumb as a stump.

Keizer suggests, and I'm not sure he's right about this, that "conservatives have traditionally believed in limited government ... because they also subscribe, contra many liberals and progressives, to an anthropology based on some notion of original sin. That is to say, the politically conserving impulse grows out of a deep-seated pessimism in regard to the ability of human beings to improve their lot merely by wishing to do so.

"A conservative tells us we had better look at history--hell, we had better examine our own thoughts and deeds since our last coffee break--and that in the light of those all-too-sobering examinations we had better be cautious about jettisoning old institutions and time-tested traditions, which, though flawed as all things human must be flawed, may be our best bulwark against evil itself."

Contra Keizer, I would suggest that concern for the human propensity to do the wrong thing or act in one's self interest is not an innate trait of conservatives. And I'd describe current conservatives as those who, in response to "some notion of original sin," shrink back in unblinking belief that the only thing we can do is hang on to the past for dear life, as if there really was some "golden age," say the age of Reagan.

Liberals, on the other hand, are just as likely to understand that humans frequently act out of concern for their own welfare and at the expense of the common good, but see the solution, not solely in the creeds of the past, but in reshaping the future based upon the lessons learned from the past.

Keizer, ironically, goes on to say that "real" conservatives are far and few between--actually damn near non-existent. "Cheapskates and chauvinists I've found aplenty," he says, "but conservatives are a rarer breed."

And I say, "You can say that again!"

Keizer demolishes the notion that Ronald Reagan was a conservative. In a humorous but right on passage he says:

"Ronald Reagan, who from the perspective of a hundred years will be seen as the last of the California hippies, a man who told us that if we just let the markets run wild and the Magic Bus of juggernaut capitalism go barrel-assing down the road with its freak flag flying all would be groovy and out of sight."

He prefers that "to the helter skelter criminality of Cheney and Bush. But to call either administration 'conservative' in its blithe overconfidence is to hold up a picture of your brain on drugs."

Republicans, says, Keizer should have been on top of things; should have seen the problem; should have seen we were walking down a dark and nasty path: "...of all people, conservatives ought to have been the first to grasp the dangers of unregulated markets. If big government is susceptible to the abuses of 'sinful' human beings, how much more susceptible is a corporate system that is bigger than any government? The right wing of the party ought to have seen this better than the center, and the religious right ought to have seen it best of all. That they failed to see it bespeaks a spiritual bankruptcy beside which the financial plight of an auto industry is as a gnat unto a camel."

Kezier concludes this essay by referencing what he calls "two imperatives" - self-reliance (Republican) and social responsibility (Democratic), noting that these "are the crux of any sustainable community. Neither makes sense without the other, nor can it be fulfilled without the other. The trick is to get them to kiss. The trick is to create a society in which the privilege of disposable income is not contingent on the existence of disposable people--to say nothing of disposable tigers, ice caps, and arable land."

He's right, of course. Except, and this is big; he oversimplifies by claiming Republicans represent self-reliance and Democrats social responsibility. While there may have been a grain of truth in such a thought years ago, that won't work today even in the broadest context, other than as convenient boxes which help to make a point.

As it stands now, Republicans have redefined "conservatism," and self-reliance doesn't enter the picture. They love big government; they just want to control it. The have no problem with socialism, so long as it works for them, like the Wall Street bailouts have (even if the dumbass tea baggers don't know it!). Furthermore, the Republicans have co-opted cultural and religious right issues , integrating them into the party, said cultural and religious right issues being represented by Palin, Bachmann, DeMint, Sanford, Huckabee, Romney, and all the other rightwingnuts prancing around the Republican platform.

Keizer is right on when he says the Republican Party is "spiritually bankrupt"!

Keizer knows this too well; thus says "I want the Republican Party to drop dead." Unfortunately, he's also correct when he notes he wants the Democratic Party to drop dead, too because it differs too little from the competition.

But his two imperatives of self-reliance and social responsibility as they are currently incarnated in the Republican and Democratic parties will never kiss. I believe, bound by my pessimism and cynicism, we're past the point of no return. There is no light at the end of the Republican tunnel; there are NO Republicans who represent "conservatism" as Keizer defines it. None. At least none in positions of leadership.

The Republican Party is dead.

Which leaves hope in the hands of the Democrats, who must somehow entwine both "imperatives" within their own party. That possibility, I think, is what some of us saw in Barack Obama. That was the "change" about which he spoke. Whether he can pull it off, is another question.

When push comes to shove, whether one is a Republican or a Democrat, self-interest rules.

It doesn't take a conservative to understand that. But it will take a liberal, a progressive, and in all likelihood a Democrat to help us rise above said "original sin" to serve the commonwealth, to seek the common good, to define our nation not as what we see in a mirror, but what we see as we look out of our front window -- our neighbor struggling with exactly the same problems we have, carrying exactly the same burdens we do, and understand that we are one, no matter our neighbor's racial makeup, country of origin, color of skin, religion, sex, or sexual orientation.

Treason in Texas?

[Image from the Military Art Gallery]

Treason is defined in the dictionary as the betrayal of one's country.

How would you describe the governor of Texas castigating the federal government, arguing for states' rights, and implying that if things don't change in Washington, secession may become a real option?

Here's how it went down. Perry spoke at one of those damn tea bag rallies in Austin. According to FAUX News, he said "that officials in Washington have abandoned the country's founding principles of limited government. He said the federal government is strangling Americans with taxation, spending and debt."

"...his U.S. flag-waving audience shouted, 'Secede!'"

How's that for "treason"?

Or, this: When asked if Texas might get so upset they'd want to secede from the union, he said "he sees no reason why Texas should do that."

BUT, then he said "There's a lot of different scenarios. We've got a great union. There's absolutely no reason to dissolve it." [He's lying through his teeth! Here comes the rest]: "But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that. But Texas is a very unique place, and we're a pretty independent lot to boot."

A threat of secession?

Perry is either an idiot of the first magnitude or he's just blowing hot air to fan the masses (which are his base) so he can win another term as governor.

If he is an idiot of the first magnitude, he obviously doesn't know about the Civil War, which did away with the notion of secession. He also isn't aware that the people in Washington who "thumb their nose at the American people" are not Democrats, not Obama's people, but Republicans! He also does not know that this godawful economic mess we are in is primarily the result of Republican blundering. He evidently isn't aware of the fact that Obama's tax plan is not a stranglehold, but provides a tax break for 96 percent of the American people.

Somehow, while I think he is an idiot, I don't think he's so much of an idiot he isn't aware of all of the above!

That makes him stupid and unconscionable! Oh, he's also a born-again Christian!

Glenn Beck was at the Alamo. He thinks, stupid as he is, that the Alamo somehow speaks of American independence. Greta Van Susteren interviewed him standing in front of the icon of Texas tenacity (and dumbness. Remember almost everyone was killed at the Alamo!).

When told that Perry had talked about Texas seceding, Beck said "They just think Texas does America best."

Watch the video as Beck steps into a morass of treasonous bullshit. (Warning: It may make you sick to your stomach!)

I just found this at Pharyngula.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Palin speaking, Palin nominating, Palin proclaiming

[Image from here.]

Palin is in hot water again.

Seems she left Alaska to go speak at some wingnut anti-abortion conference in the Lower 48. Alaska's legislators were not happy because she took off during the last week of the legislative session, which is always the busiest session of the year.

It should be noted, this was a personal decision on her part, totally unnecessary (unless, of course, she's trying to build her base for 2012).

The second thing she did had to do with her nominating skills. After her previous nominations for attorney general of Alaska were turned down by the Democrats, she nominated three people for one position! Yup. Maybe she can't count very well. Or maybe she governs by the theory that if she throws enough crap at a wall, some of it might stick.

But, this story gets even more interesting when we find out (via the Anchorage Daily News) that two of the three have already been rejected by the Dems, which leaves the third, who switched to the Democratic Party just a few months ago.

Finally, Ms. Palin the prevaricator, in a 10-minute testimony during U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's hearing on offshore oil and gas leasing, beat the same old drum: Drill, baby, drill. According to ADN, she "told Salazar that the future of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline and the success of a proposed natural gas pipeline are at stake if offshore development doesn't occur."

Of course it is. My goodness, the world will collapse if we don't drill off the coast of Alaska.

Unless, you're very rich, or will get very rich from offshore drilling, you probably would agree with Edward Itta, mayor of the North Slope Borough, when he noted his people do not want offshore drilling because it's too risky, and the "rewards" aren't worth the risk. "That's because spill response are (is) virtually impossible in Arctic waters."

What the hell. Who cares about Alaska, the environment, Eskimo's, polar bears and other wildlife, anyway?

Good news about food labels

It's nice to be able to discuss something good that has happened in our country. It's also rare, but that's another article.

McClatchy pulled a story from the Merced Sun-Star as to how COOL it is to have labels on our food which tell us from where the stuff derives.

COOL is an acronym for Country of Origin Labeling. COOL became effective in March and directs food purveyors to put COOL labels on "muscle cuts of beef, including veal, pork, goat, and chicken, along with ground beef, ground lamb, ground port, ground goat and ground chicken."

Labels also get stuck on "Farm-raised fish and shellfish ... along with wild fish and shellfish. Perishable fruits and vegetables are required to have the labels, as are peanuts, ginseng, pecans and macadamia nuts."

While COOL applies to the "major grocery stores and supermarkets ... Smaller stores such as fish markets and butcher shops, along with food service establishments, such as restaurants and bars, are exempt."

COOL sounds like a win-win. If you're like me, you've often looked at something you were about to chew away on and wondered where the heck it came from: Texas or Lower Mongolia.

And I've found in my life it's always better to know than not know.

There's more here.

Tea bag losers - Conservatives without a cause

When God calls...

Thanks to Atheist Cartoons.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

If you don't matter to God...

I found this at Friendly Atheist...Hemant Mehta notes that it derives from the same group responsible for the Creation Museum.

It's about as sick a piece as I've ever seen. All in the name of Jesus, of course!

Storm by Tim Minchin

Excruciatingly funny!

Thanks to Dan Florien at Unreasonable Faith:

Rev. Mel White & Tony Perkins

The Rev. Mel White takes Tony Perkins to task for being the anti-gay bigot he is, and doesn't let him get by with this "love the sinner, hate the sin" crap!

Is Sarah Palin dumb as a pile of bricks or smart like a fox?

[Palin with Ross on left. Photo here.]

She must be dumber than a pile of bricks! Or not.

Last month she nominated one Wayne Anthony Ross to be the attorney general of Alaska.

Bad move. Ross is, according to Max Blumenthal at The Daily Beast, "a colorful far-right lawyer and longtime Palin ally who sports his initials, W.A.R. on his Hummer's vanity plates..."

But he more's than that. It appears, from what he has said, that he has problems understanding things like human rights, human dignity, fairness, and it also appears that maybe his brain is wired weirdly.

"...his nomination was thrown into grave peril when his opponents presented evidence that he called homosexuals 'degenerates,' hailed the 'courage' of a student who lionized the Ku Klux Klan, vowed to undermine the sovereignty of Native American tribes, and allegedly defended men who rape their wives."

Here are a few quotations and other miscellany from Mr. Ross:

1. "If a guy can't rape his wife, who's he gonna rape?" (Ross denied saying this.)

2. "If a woman would keep her mouth shut, there wouldn't be an issue with domestic violence."

3. He wrote "several manifestos attacking [Martin Luther] King as a communist subversive.

4. He has "routinely appeared at public events beside his friend, Don Tanner, a while nationalist who moved to South Africa for a period during the 1980s to support is apartheid government, and who reveled crowds of conservatives with anti-black 'South African jokes' upon his return to Alaska."

Well, there's much more. But here's Blumenthal's take:

"If Palin withdraws Ross' nomination, she could end another embarrassing political spectacle before it registers on the national press corps' radar. Alternatively, if she manages to ram his appointment through, Palin can begin implementing a hard-right legal agenda that will appeal to the elements she is cultivating as the base of her likely 2012 presidential campaign..."

I think a major question arises with this appointment that should become fodder for a national conversation (just in case Palin the prevaricator should become convinced she needs to be president in 2012): Why would anyone with a modicum of common sense and common decency be involved with someone like Ross?

What the hell is wrong with Sarah Palin? Is she dumb as a pile of bricks or smart like a fox?

There's more here.

Paraguayan President and the Pope's godlessness

[Photo by BBC News]

Pope Benedict XVI warned us against "godlessness" and "secularism" on Good Friday [see post below].

Perhaps he was thinking about his former bishop, Fernando Lugo, who is now the president of Paraguay.

Seems the president, when he was a bishop, had an affair with a 16-year old girl which resulted in the birth of a boy child.

The president, at first, denied any such shenanigans, but doggone it all, the girl, Viviana Carrillo, filed a paternity suit.

So, finally, he confessed and said he is going to "assume all responsibilities."

That's nice.

This is no big deal, of course; happens all the time; and not infrequently, it seems, of bishops in the Roman Catholic Church.

The problem is that such behavior, which I'm sure Pope Benedict would classify as "mocking" Christ, or a "desert of godlessness," does not appear to be caused by "secularism" or "the faith ... being trivialised." The man was a bishop, for Christ's sake!

Nor it is caused, I think, by the fact that "Values and norms that held societies together and drew people to higher ideals are laughed at and thrown overboard."

A bishop wouldn't do that.

In fact, the bishop was horny and his church said he could not do what was normal -- get married and have children -- so he was caught between a rock and a hard place...or hard something.

I don't think the bishop is a bad person; in fact, it seems he was a good bishop in many ways and that he's been a good president for Paraguay in other ways.

I do think the Pope and his so-called "values and norms" which insist that Catholic clergy be men and be celibate are, in fact, creating the rise in what he bemoans as "secularism."

I also think the Roman church is filled with hypocrites of the highest magnitude.

There's more here.

McCain admits Palin a mistake

[Image from TVGuide]

Last night, on the Jay Leno show, McCain, talking about "good" Republican leaders and governors, left out the name of Sarah Palin, and then joked he would take some heat for that.

While I don't agree with his list of "good" Repugnicans, which included Mitt Romney and Bobby Jindal, I think it's not only funny that he left off Palin, but is an admission that his choice of Palin as a running mate was ill-advised, or in more direct terms, stupid.

And this repartee between McCain and Leno shows once again how fortunate we are that McCain and Palin did not win the election!

A link to the video is here.

Good Friday Godlessness

It was on Good Friday, April 10, that Pope Benedict XVI spoke out against what he called "the rise of aggressive secularism in Western societies, warning them [the people?] that they risked drifting into a 'desert of godlessness.'"

Some of us think that a "desert of godlessness" would be like a dessert, when we consider the so-called "godliness" of the Pope and his minions in the Vatican and his other menials spread, like a cancer, around the world.

The Daily Mail tells us all about it: To remove religion from public life, said the pontiff, is the same as "the mockery of Christ by the mob as he was led out to be crucified."

Benedict said that "'Religious sentiments' were increasingly ranked among the 'unwelcome leftovers of antiquity' and 'held up to scorn and ridicule.'"

That sounds about right.

And all of this "humiliates" Jesus. The "sense of the sacred is allowed to erode."

"Values and norms that held societies together and drew people to higher ideals are laughed at and thrown overboard. Jesus continues to be ridiculed."

And then, [this is so riddled with irony and hypocrisy it's a wonder he could keep a straight face] Benedict "condemned the oppression of women, saying there were 'many societies in the world where women fail to receive a fair deal.'

"'Christ must be weeping for them,'" said Bennie.

Pope Benedict is quite careful to threaten the faithful by implying that the adoption of secularism [which has something to do with rejecting the Catholic church's doctrines] is to break the heart of Jesus, is to betray Jesus once again, is to join the mob [read "damn Jews] in the courtyard, is to crucify the Lord anew.

But what he doesn't get is that many "religious sentiments" should be "ranked among the 'unwelcome leftovers of antiquity' and [be] 'held up to scorn an ridicule.'"

And those "values" and "norms" which used to hold society together are nothing more than threats of purgatory/excommunication or fear of hell. Who needs them?

Finally, if there is any place in the world where women "fail to receive a fair deal" it is the Vatican, ridden with hidebound misogynists and celibate (or not so celibate) bigots and bishops!

The Daily Mail article is here.

Strip searching for ibuprofen

Ibuprofen is one thing. Crack cocaine is another. School authorities in Safford, Arizona didn't seem to understand the difference, or that a person suspecting of carrying ibuprofen should be treated less harshly than one suspected of carrying crack cocaine.

Savana Redding was 13 years old at the time. For some reason she was suspected of being a dangerous druggie, perhaps having "prescription-strength" ibuprofen somewhere on her person, maybe hidden in her genitals. Thus she was strip-searched in the school nurse's office.

Joshua Holland writes: "She was made to expose her breasts and pubic area to prove she was not hiding pills."

That was six years ago. Savana's mother didn't take kindly to this action and sued, beginning a legal battle which is now headed to the United States Supreme Court!

One cannot help but wonder how such morons get to be in charge of a public school in this country or how they stay in positions of authority. Actually, in my experience in the education system, I found there are many morons in charge of our public schools. I'm not sure why that's the case, except that quite often people who can't teach or don't like kids end up being administrators; and not a few of the people elected to school boards are dumber than doorknobs with political agendas that do not include the welfare of the children for which they are responsible.

Holland refers to a 1985 Supreme Court decision which held that school poohbahs can search a student if they have "reasonable suspicion" of some dirty deed, but warned that a search should not be "exessively intrusive" and take into account "the age and sex of the student and the nature of the infraction."

Holland concludes:

"Aside from the fact that this case certainly appears to be 'excessively intrusive' -- remember we're talking about ibuprofen, not smack -- it's also in keeping with the slow erosions [sic] of our liberties. The 5th Amendment to the Constitution doesn't say 'persons who aren't students in a school' shall not be 'deprived of life, liberty or process without due process of law,' is just says 'persons.' Last I checked, school kids are persons too."

I agree. But I would add the caveat that when one person in our country is deprived of his/her constitutional rights by some blowhard moron in a position of authority, all of us are at risk.

Read the entire article here.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Italian Prime Minister emulates G. W. Bush

[Image from BBC News]

On April 6, just before the break of dawn, about 60 miles east of Rome, the Italian city of L'Aquila was rocked by an earthquake.

At least 260 people died, and 28,000 or more were left homeless. Some 10,000 buildings were destroyed or rendered uninhabitable.

It was very, very cold. Many of the homeless had to try to survive in hastily constructed tent camps.

A tragedy of enormous proportions.

The Prime Minister of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi, said of the people huddled and freezing in their tents:

"They should see it like a weekend of camping."

George W. Bush didn't use those words after Hurricane Katrina hit, but he might as well have. Hurricane Katrina showed clearly that the Bush administration simply didn't give a damn about the people of the United States - unless, of course, they were very rich.

Maybe Berlusconi, who is said to be the richest man in Italy, took a lesson from Bush as to how to respond to his constituents in the aftermath of a natural disaster.

Spencer Bachus (R-Ala) discovers socialists in Congress

Shades of Joseph McCarthy!

Spencer Bachus, a Republican Representative in Congress from Alabama, has discovered there are at least 17 "socialists" in Congress. Actually, there are 17 "socialists" in the House of Representatives! God only knows how many are hiding in the Senate! Yup!

Now, I don't know how Bachus defines "socialist." But it's a convenient term to throw around and get the hoi polloi all roiled up. Bachmann, the dimwit from Minnesota has done it; Sarah Palin has done it; and it's getting to be quite common among the rabid rightwing TV and radio hate mongers.

According to a blog article in the Washington Post by Mary Ann Akers, when the Birmingham Post asked Bachus to name the 17 socialists in Congress, he could think of none in the House, and only one in the Senate, Bernie Sanders, who's an Independent from Vermont.

Akers notes that his naming of Sanders is of particular interest, because back in 2003 Bachus "co-sponsored a measure with then congressman Sanders and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), which Sanders called a 'tripartisan amendment.' It sought to prevent credit card companies from jacking up interest rates on cardholders who have bad credit reports because of late payments and loans and such."

All of which makes me wonder again if Bachus knows what a "socialist" is. Doesn't governmental interference with the right of credit card companies to do whatever the hell they want, constitute a socialistic slap at capitalistic greed?

Repugnicans don't seem to know whether they're coming or going. But, hey, if it will get them votes, they'll say anything, even if it's quite obvious they don't know what they're talking about!

Akers article is here.

GOP should own another TV Station besides FOX says GOP "Talking Head"

We're indebted to a couple of folks for what follows, including FairWinds at Daily KOS, and Heather at Video Cafe; so we thank both of them.

It's delicious. Some guy by the name of Robert G. Kaufman wrote a book a couple years ago entitled In Defense of the Bush Doctrine: Moral Democratic Realism and American Grand Strategy [the title tells you where Kaufman's coming from!].

Anyone who uses the name Bush in the same sentence with "moral" has probably come unmoored from the pier.

So, seems that Kaufman appeared at the 61st Annual Conference on World Affairs, held April 6 at the University of Colorado. He was a member of the panel involved in a presentation called "Rebranding Republicans: Don't Misunderestimate Us."

Kaufman gave a ten-minute "lecture" in which he spoke of five "core principles" that Repugnicans have to make their own if they're gonna be able to take over "when Obama fails."

[Just reading that makes me sick to my stomach. WHEN Obama fails???? These goddamn sons-of-bitches don't give a rat's ass about our country! It's all about power. And they are willing to see people suffer and die in order to gain and maintain their power. And many of them do it in God's name! They are rotting turds dressed in human clothes!]

Okay, I'll continue now.

According to Mr. Kaufman, the #5 thing that Repugnicans must do is figure out how to get their message across even though they're facing a "hostile" media.

Heh. Heh. What the hell's he talking about? The MSM is bought and paid for by the corporations who buy and sell Repugnicans in Congress and is constantly kissing the asses of Repugnican nogoodniks in and out of Congress!

Okay, I'm back.

So, Kaufman says "If I had to recommend one single thing that the Republicans should be doing to help articulate the message, it is to acquire another television network so that there is not just FOX, but multiple sources of alternative information"...blah, blah, blah!

Read that again and let it sink in. The Republicans should get their hands on ANOTHER TV NETWORK BECAUSE THE ONE THEY ALREADY OWN, FAUX NEWS, ISN'T ENOUGH TO GET THEIR MESSAGE OUT TO THE HOI POLLOI!

[That begs the question, of course, "What message?" The one that promises unending war, global hostility, the threat of Armaggedon, financial collapse, moral rot, lies and more lies, incompetent fools, the shredding of the Constitution, etc., etc.? That must be the "message" as I've not heard of any other Repugnican message!]

I'm alright. I'm alright!

Here's what Heather at Video Cafe says:

"Kaufman is not a spokesperson for the GOP but this slip is one that probably deserves some notice as the diarist writes. Heaven forbid that any of them ... don't have enough control over our airways as it is already. Right now there are about six media companies that control almost everything we watch on television, at the movies and listen to on the radio. How could the GOP survive without one more Fox News channel to promote their agenda? It just boggles the mind."

Read more here.

Christian conference center burns - where was God?

Easter Sunday, which according to many Christians, is the "holiest" day of the year, was the day a huge conflagration roared through the Alton Bay Christian Conference Center on Lake Winnipesaukee, in Alton Bay, New Hampshire.

The fire took out a number of summer cottages at the 146-year old center, which has as its purpose the changing of lives by "encouraging commitment to Jesus," and thus is engaged in evangelism and training of Christian leaders.

This is an unhappy occurrence, and I am not in any way making light of what happened. But, one cannot help wonder why such a thing should occur on the "holiest" day of the Christian calendar, and the other question, of course, forever unanswered, is "Where was God?"

Consider: If God is omniscient as asserted in Christian theology, he/she knew this fire was going to happen. Why didn't he/she take steps to ensure it didn't happen, if, indeed, he/she considered this conference center important to the evangelizing of souls to keep them out of hell?

Secondly, if God is omnipotent as asserted in Christian theology - well, the same question arises.

I've heard all the rationalizations. I've used them. But, ultimately they fail. Either God is neither omniscient nor omnipotent, or he/she just doesn't give a damn.

Clean your dirty, rotten souls with SOULWOW!

The Roman Church shouldn't do stuff like's too easy to mock.

From AP: "In a YouTube parody of the popular ads for ShamWow absorbent towels, a priestly pitchman named Father Vic calls on Roman Catholics in Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island to partake. As Father Vic says, 'Nothing soothes the soul like a true confession.'"

It must be working. The number of folks wanting to clean their dirty, rotten souls has increased.

Heh. Heh.

Check it out:

Sunday, April 12, 2009

My god's more bloodthirsty than your god!

Dennis Kucinich: Where is Osama bin Laden?

Seems to me that's a reasonable and timely question.

Thanks to Video Cafe.

Military analyst shills on FAUX News

It's what we've come to expect, of course, but that still doesn't make it any easier to swallow - the knowledge that many of our leaders have sold their souls in order to increase their wealth and status. We've known for some time that certain "military analysts" appearing on the networks are tied directly to military contractors, but that information was not disclosed to viewers..

Ali Frick, writing at Think Progress, gives us a prime example, noting that on April 9 "Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney appeared on Fox News to discuss the Somali pirates situation, and managed to use it as an opportunity to shill for the F-22:

"McINERNEY: I'd put F-22s and combat air patrol out there, two of them, with tankers. ... The reason I'd put the F-22s is because they can go 1.6 to mach 2, and they have a very quick reaction time and 20 millimeter canon."

Turns out the McInerney "worked as a consultant to Northrop Grumman, a major contractor for the F-22."

FAUX News didn't feel it necessary to disclose that connection.

More here.

Jesus "boyfriend" music

[Image, "Jesus Love," from Lost Seed]

I was reading one of my favorite blogs, An Apostate's Chapel, yesterday and came across the following, which is part of a longer article describing the kind of weird sexuality expressed in many of the old fundamentalist hymns.

The article references Fanny Crosby, for example, a 19th century hymnist,, who wrote innumerable love songs to Jesus, one of which contained these lines:

Safe in the arms of Jesus,
Safe on His gentle breast,
There by His love o-ershadowed,
Sweetly my soul shall rest.

And then there's Charles Wesley, the founder of Methodism, who penned this kind of stuff:

Jesus, lover of my soul,
Let me to Thy bosom fly.

But this song really brought back memories, for I recall singing this many times in my youth, never thinking about how truly sick the lyrics were. It was written by C. Austin Miles, also in the 19th century (Could it be the 19th century was sexually repressive?):

I come to the garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses;
And the voice I hear falling on my ear,
The Son of God discloses.

And He walks with me, and he talks with me,
And he tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

He speaks and the sound of His voice
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.

Yikes! An Apostate's Chapel reponds:

"How romantic! A garden, evening dew, walking and talking together, enjoying an exclusive relationship - and a prefiguring of Burt Bacharach:

"Why do birds suddenly appear
Every time you are near?
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you."

If you came out of an "evangelical/fundamentalist" background, you will no doubt appreciate this more than one without that background...

And you can read the entire article here.

The thing that made the things for which there is no known maker

This gem speaks for itself. A bit long, but worth watching!

Vatican is afraid of Caroline Kennedy

It matters not that Caroline Kennedy is a lifelong Roman Catholic and comes from a family that has knelt before the Pope for many years; she is, according to the Vatican, unqualified to be the U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See.

President Obama has not appointed an ambassador to the Holy See as yet, but word was that Ms. Kennedy was a likely choice.

Enter the pious prelates from Rome's heavenly realm. No, no, no, they said. She's pro-choice. We can't have anyone here who believes women should have the right to choose with regard to what they can do with their bodies! Furthermore, we can't have anyone within these holy precincts who favors stem cell research (even if those stem cells come from fetuses tossed in the garbage).

Now, the Roman Catholic Church is free to believe and promote whatever religious nonsense it so desires. Ironically, however, the majority of Catholics in the U.S. do not agree with nor follow the lead of the Vatican when it comes to issues such as abortion and contraception.

Nevertheless, it wouldn't make sense to appoint someone to the Holy See who is not wanted by the pompous papists in Vatican City.

So, if President Obama is restricted to persons who are anti-choice and anti-stem cell research, then perhaps he should consider not appointing an ambassador to the Vatican at all. The Vatican is like an one time it was a political it's a useless appendage.

That's right. As crazy as it sounds, the Vatican is not only a religious institution but a political entity, a political state.

Who needs it? And we do not need to send an ambassador to this pitiful little political realm in Italy.

Obama and his aides can send the Pope an e-mail if and when the need arises to communicate with the old guy.