Saturday, October 17, 2009

Rachel Maddow: Maddow, Olbermann respond to Bush, Sr., namecalling

G.H.W. Bush is feeling sorry for his poor deluded, dimwit son, Georgi Bush. And he doesn't like what some people say about Georgi, including Maddow and Olbermann. The latter two are, as you might imagine, terribly broken up about all of this!

and counting

Thanks to Atheist Cartoons.

Clerical claptrap from Anglican Archbishop

[Photo of Rowan Williams from here]

Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, spoke recently to a group of about 1,000 people at the Southwark Cathedral in London.

His lecture was titled, "The Climate Crisis: A Christian Response." In this lecture, the Williams said that the crises humanity faces today (including the crisis of climate change) derive from a "loss of sense of what life is." This "sense of life" refers to a "web of interactions, mutual givings and receivings" that should define who we are as humans.

But, we've lost that sense of what life is. "We are disconnected and we need to be reintroduced to life."

So far, so good, I think. He's really talking about how we abuse the earth and each other and how we need to realize anew that all people are interconnected and share responsibility for the earth and its inhabitants.

But then, the good Archbishop, having been taught that all things a priest says must somehow be confirmed by the Bible, resorted to the tall tale of Noah and the Great Flood from the book of Genesis.

Also, being a cleric, he spoke in riddles. The story of Noah, saith Williams, shows a humanity "that can never be itself without taking on the care and protection of the life of which it's a part." Okay, but why not speak plain English? Why not say that to be our best as humans we have to assume some responsibility for each other and our planet? And why do we need the story of Noah?

Wait, Williams is going to tell us. And so he does, going on to say that one of the great things about Noah is that he brought in all the animals and thus becomes responsible for "what we could call an ecosystem." Huh? In the story, Noah fights God tooth and nail and it is clear he didn't give a rat's ass about an "ecosystem." What he wanted to do was get drunk and so he did!

But, here's the kicker, from the mouth of the Archbishop of Canterbury:

"God is committed to life, to the continuance of life on earth, and whatever happens he will not let life disappear."

To which I can only respond with a loud "BULLSHIT!"

This is clerical claptrap, whether it comes from an Archbishop or a lowly deacon. According to the story, God was so pissed off at what he had created that he decided to destroy all of life...oh, yeah, except for Noah and his worthless sons and two or seven of each kind of animal, etc., depending on which verses you think are correct.

God murdered everyone and everything on earth because he became angry at how sinful his creation had become!

Now, you can't smooth talk your way around that by claiming that he was gracious enough to save a few miserable humans and a few sad little creatures!

And you also can't dance around the face that being omniscient God knew from before the creation that humans were going to be bunch of assholes and that he was going to kill them all!

The story of Noah is, of course, fiction. There is no historicity to it whatsoever. It's an ancient tale (similar to the ancient tales of people all over the world) that the Hebrews adopted and adapted for their own purposes.

So, please Mr. Archbishop, sir, DO NOT use it to try to bolster what might be a fine theory about the need for humans to care about each other and the earth. We desperately do need to do something about Climate Change and we desperately do need to get people to work cooperatively to accomplish this.

But Noah and his god have nothing to do with it. By spewing this clerical claptrap you make yourself look like an idiot and demean the whole process. Furthermore, you play right into the hands of the christianist wingnuts who tell us not to worry about global warming because their god up in heaven will never let the earth be destroyed - until, of course, the end-times, when he'll purposely murder everyone who doesn't believe that Jesus died on the cross to save them from their sins!


Keith Olbermann - Guardian Life Ins. Co. - Worst person in the world

Alan Grayson on Real Time

From Crooks and Liars:

From Real Time with Bill Maher Oct. 16, 2009.

Alan Grayson did a great job on Bill Maher’s show and countered some of Bill’s nonsense—like him citing a study that he doesn’t source—that the problem with our health care system’s costs are too many doctors just wanting to prescribe unneeded drugs, unneeded tests and unneeded surgeries. Grayson disagrees with Maher and says that our real problem is the amount of money the insurance companies are taking off the top and making money from denying care.

Grayson responds by saying “One person’s unnecessary test is another person’s life saving test. You can’t get around that”. He reminded Maher that the Bush administration skewed a study to show what they wanted it to show when it came to the amount of money trial lawyers are adding to the total cost of health care in the United States and he gets Maher to concede that “studies can say anything”.

When asked if he was disappointed in the President and how he’s “thrown in with these corporatist Democrats” and Maher says he knows Grayson is not one of them Grayson likens himself to Huey Long and says “You’ve got to put some jam on the bottom shelf where the little man can reach it”.

Grayson defends President Obama and says reads things a little differently and he thinks Obama is trying not to repeat Bill Clinton’s mistakes on getting health care reform passed.

Grayson says “Instead he’s letting Congress decide how to do things and it’s going way too slow. There’s a 122 Americans who die every single day because they don’t have health care. And I’ve been saying that for weeks. We’ve got to pick up the pace. We’ve got to save those lives. But I understand what the President’s doing and you know, people attack him and he turns the other cheek like any good Muslim would do”.

When Maher says his comment is going to be played on Fox News, Grayson says they have no sense of humor. Maher says it will be used as an attack ad against him and Grayson says they’ve got plenty of material already, so he's not too worried about it.

Grayson finished up the interview by saying we should be out of Afghanistan already and that he didn’t support a “war tax” but would be against anyone sending troops anywhere if we don’t have a good reason to be there.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Prayer and more prayer at EHC in Colorado

[Image from here]

Colorado Springs is a hotbed of super-evangelistic rightwingnuttery. It is the place, after all, where James Dobson and his band of nogoodniks hang out. So, what follows isn't all that surprising.

There is a "ministry" in that benighted city called EHC (Every Home for Christ). This so-called ministry has built a "state-of-the-art prayer center." This prayer center, called the Watchman Training Center, consists of 8,000 square feet of goofiness.

EHC is now "mobilizing 'watchmen' to pray 24/7 for the completion of the Great Commission." Yup. Go into all the world and spray the people with delusions that lead to ego-centric hatred of all ungodliness, and ungodly people - like gays, for example. Or liberals. Or Democrats.

I am not making this up. It's all in an article found at the wingnut site of Charisma magazine; Charisma being a pentecostal, far-right, dominionist, theocratic spewing rag.

Dick Eastman, head honcho of EHC, said, "Our goal is to help encourage and mobilize believers around the world--in every time zone, nation and even provinces within nations [watch out, Canada!] -- to sustain continuous prayer in their areas."

God, god must get tired of all this crap! Unrelenting pleading, crying, weeping, blah, blah, blah. No wonder she turns a deaf ear and refuses to answer. Which is not good strategy for a deity as that just makes all these pray-ers pray harder and longer.

Now, what kind of god would turn a deaf ear? What kind of god would require such a plethora of piety 24/7?

And aren't these pray-ers the same ones who claim their deity is omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient? If that is the case, why would anybody need to pray at all? Doth not the goddess in heaven know what these folks need, and what they want, and what are the real needs of the world?

None of this makes any sense, unless, of course, you happen to run EHC and need to rev people up about something so they keep sending in bundles of buckaroos to keep you living the high life on a mountain in Colorado.

Here's a description of the prayer center: It has a Wall of Prayer two stories high that was designed to look like the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, and was built with 50 tons of Jerusalem stone. God likes Jerusalem stone, you know, much more than she likes Colorado rock, even though she supposedly created the Colorado Rockies!

[What's with all these rightwing kooks who want to be Jews? Well, sort of Jews. Jews who pray to Jesus.]

Anyway, people go up to the Wall, put prayers in the Wall (just like, you know, they do in Jerusalem) and these prayers are collected every once in a while and mailed off to folks in the Holy City who then put 'em in the Wailing Wall. God must like that a lot!

But the prayer center is not just a wall. There's a big old space that can seat 450 people at one time; 13 prayer rooms which EHC calls "grottos," (heh, heh), and these so-called grottos have fancy computers with touch screens so those putzing around in the grottos can play Christian music and bring up "prayer points for each nation."

Well, there's a lot more, which you can read for yourself here.

But...but...scientific studies done most recently indicate quite clearly that intercessory prayer does not work! It fails all tests! There is no god or goddess "up there" answering prayers!

So, a word to Dick Eastman and all his pray-ers: shut up, already!

Don't spend your money on prayer centers with Wailing Walls. Feed the poor, heal the sick, bring comfort to the wounded. The Gospels are quite clear that is what your Jesus most desired and, indeed, doing such things serve as a sign that you love him!

You somehow must have missed that most important teaching of your savior. Which is too bad, because it was so important that, according to the legend, Jesus said those who failed to do those things, which also included visiting people in prison, would be turned away from the heavenly kingdom, and that the father, who is himself, would have nothing to do with charlatans who flail themselves with the whips of prayer 24/7!

You're in deep ca-ca, Eastman!

Bible burning in North Carolina

Nyah, nyah! My bible's better than your bible. Your bible is evil! We're gonna burn your bible 'cause our god told us to! Hah, hah!

h/t to God Is For Suckers

The Public Option Is Not A Mysterious Thing!

Michael Moore schools Maria Bartiromo on capitalism

From Crooks and Liars:

Michael Moore had a few things to say about the Dow rallying past 10,000 today on the set of Morning Joe. First on how well the markets are doing.

Moore: Oh! It’s so incredible. Yes. Fifteen million people out of work.

Scarborough: Isn’t this a perfect example for you? Isn’t this a great example of what you’re trying to say? How there’s a disconnect between what’s going on on Wall Street, 10,000, and Main Street, 10% unemployment?

Moore: Oh, it’s not a disconnect. It’s connected very well. It’s connected just the way our economic system is set up. It’s set up so that the pyramid scheme that we call capitalism—it’s become a pyramid scheme now—the very few at the top get away like bandits making billions and billions of dollars. And everybody else in the lower parts of the pyramid are told to work really hard and maybe some day they can come up and be on top of the pyramid too. Well guess what? There’s only a few people that can sit on top of the pyramid and it’s just so revolting and so immoral when we live in a country—the wealthiest country on earth—fifteen million people unemployed. One in every eight homes right now is in foreclosure or delinquency. And they’re celebrating on Wall Street? And they’re paying each other bonuses?

Surprisingly Moore gets some agreement from Joe and Mike on the disparity of wealth in the United States. Maria Bartiromo however disagrees with Moore’s view of the news on Wall Street. Shocker right? The Wall Street flack tries to come to their defense.

Bartiromo: A couple of things I have to insert here. On the one hand I am a big fan of Michaels but I have to disagree that capitalism is a pyramid scheme. I think that, I actually think that’s absurd but on the bonuses obviously compensation did get way out of hand on Wall Street and for some individuals at the top. I agree with that.

But let’s not forget the millions and millions and millions of people who have benefited, who have pensions, who have mutual funds who are invested in this market and may not even know it who have made a lot of money over the years. So it’s not necessarily just the people at the top making money when the market goes higher. That is also absurd.


Moore: No, I’m sorry. I understand what you just said. That was the old days when Leave it to Beaver and Andy of Mayberry, that is the way it used to work. Here’s how it is now.

Bartiromo: Okay.

Moore: The wealthiest—let me finish—the wealthiest one percent right now in this country have more financial worth than the ninety five percent under them combined. One percent more than ninety five percent combined—that’s capitalism now. It’s a system of legalized greed. It’s way out of control and when you talk about people and their pension funds—people watching us right now—nobody even knows if they’re going to have a pension or what’s going to happen to it. Everybody is full of anxiety. People don’t know if they’re going to have a job next year. That’s just not how you run a country. This isn’t how you create the next great thing and put people to work when you’ve got everybody going around so full of fear and just not knowing what’s going to happen and not knowing if they can pay the mortgage next month. There’s a foreclosure filing once every seven and a half seconds right now.


Bartiromo: I mean there was a structure in place and there has been a structure in place in terms of regulating the banks—in terms of overseeing the risks that they take on.

Moore: There’s no structure!

Bartiromo: So you can’t just say that you know, oh these guys were just given the go ahead to do whatever they wanted…

Moore: There’s no structure!

Bartiromo: Who was watching the store in terms of the regulatory environment overseeing the services companies?

Scarborough: Isn’t that the problem though?

Scarborough goes on to cite how lack of regulation of Wall Street has led to this mess and Moore agrees with him and reminds everyone this has been a bipartisan failing going back to the days of Ronald Reagan. Moore notes that the seven largest banks that took our TARP money have seventy five percent of all the banking assets in the United States and suggests people move their money out of the big banks and into community banks and credit unions.

I think Maria Bartiromo has been spending way too much time snuggling up to those CEO’s over at CNBC and a little reality check for her by Moore on what life is like for most Americans was a welcome break from the usual hackery on Morning Joe.

The 30 Repugnicans who voted to enable rape

Here they are, the nogoodnik Repugnican senators who voted to enable rape within companies hired by the U.S. government:

Many, if not all or these clowns, claim the "family values" tag! And they are ALL Republicans!

1. Alexander from Tennessee
2. Barasso from Wyoming
3. Bond from Missouri
4. Brownback from Kansas
5. Bunning from Kentucky
6. Burr from North Carolina
7. Chambliss from Georgia
8. Coburn from Oklahoma
9. Cochran from Mississippi
10. Corker from Tennessee
11. Cornyn from Texas
12. Crapo from Idaho
13. DeMint from South Carolina
14. Ensign from Nevada
15. Enzi from Wyoming
16. Graham from South Carolina
17. Gregg from New Hampshire
18. Inhofe from Oklahoma
19. Isakson from Georgia
20. Johanns from Nebraska
21. Kyl from Arizona
22. McCain from Arizona
23. McConnell from Kentucky
24. Risch from Idaho
25. Roberts from Kansas
26. Sessions from Alabama
27. Shelby from Alabama
28. Thune from South Dakota
29. Vitter from Louisiana
30. Wicker from Mississippi

Note how many come from the former Confederacy (slave states)! Most of the rest are from the west.

Please publicize this list far and wide! Let's do all we can to retire these assholes from Congress!

The legacy of G. W. Bush and friends

We've been over this before, but it's always good to keep the past up front in our minds to help us frame a clear vision of the future. The past is too soon forgotten, or downplayed, or glossed over, or minimized. We cannot let that happen or the bad guys will win again and our country and the world will reap the whirlwind.

The legacy of G. W. Bush and friends, in part:

1. A war on science. Science was considered a poor second to ideology, to faith. Thus science was ignored and/or perverted to serve political and religious theories. Evolution denied; global warming denied; the environment destroyed; millions of dollars wasted on nonsense such as "abstinence only" sex education.

2. Unnecessary and illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars up in smoke. Thousands killed and many more thousands maimed for life. Entire populations displaced. Al-Qaeda given a huge boost. Loss of respect around the world. And the wars go on, a never-ending quagmire!

3. Economic devastation. From a position of strength (surplus) to a wrecking of the American economy and economies around the world because of unregulated greed on the part of friends of the Bush administration. Lobbyists representing powerful, international corporations wrote governmental policy and undermined governmental decision-making. Or as The Nation put it: "'a heavily bankrolled effort by conservatives and corporations to instill blind faith in the market' has led to 'the most colossal redistribution of wealth in modern world history, a redistribution from the bottom up, from working people to a tiny global elite.'"

Katrina vanden Huevel, editor of The Nation, explains how that has worked out for the "working people":

"In 2007 more than 37 million Americans were living in poverty -- that's 12.5 percent of the population subsisting (or not) on less than $21,200 a year for a family of four.

"Food stamp caseloads rose by 2.6 million people between August 2007 and August 2008; in twenty-five states, at least one in five children is receiving food stamps.

"According to the USDA's annual report on food security, nearly one in eight Americans ... was 'food insecure,' meaning it was difficult to get enough food, due to lack of resources."

4. Ripping apart the Constitution. Appointment of political/religious hacks such as Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. Spying on the American people. Disregard for separation of church and state.

5. Torture. Authorized at the highest levels. Traditions begun during the Revolutionary War under George Washington were discarded. The U.S. lost the high moral ground, giving the terrorists even more ammunition and raising hackles around the world.

6. The Republican Party wrecked and left to animals like Beck and Limbaugh to tear apart its remains. Thus, as a whole, the Repugnicans reject Obama as president, refuse to cooperate in any meaningful way, and vote as a bloc against every initiative proposed. Controlled completely by their corporate masters and the religious right, the Republican Party has nothing to offer except more despair and devastation. Republicans in Congress have no morals or ethics: 30 Republican senators voted to allow the rape of women by companies hired by the U.S. government!

7. The Bush legacy also involves a loss of faith and trust in the government, as seen by the thousands of people who attended the so-called "Tea Parties" for reasons unknown (even to them). We have the experienced the phenomenon of people on Medicare decrying government interference in their lives!

There's so much more that could be said, of course. But perhaps this is enough to remind us of the horror perpetrated by the Bushites and their ilk during their time in power. Perhaps this is enough to prod us to work very hard to see that such horror never happens again.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Rape Nuts - more on Franken's bill by Jon Stewart

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Rachel Maddow - Ensign lies and Republicans vote against raped women

The "family values" party disrobed!

Sen. John Ensign, a family values Repugnican who has refused to resign after having an affair with a friend's staffer wife, lies to the camera with a straight face, but Rachel got him!

Then there's the bill that would allow employees of a company to sue after they've been raped or sexually assaulted by another company employee. Sen. Al Franken's first legislative effort passed by a good margin. But 30 (THIRTY!) senators voted against it! All were Repugnicans, and most of them were the "family values" type!

Keith Olbermann - Worst person in the world, Glenn Beck

There is no one involved in the national media today that is more slimy and creepy and unpatriotic, and demagogic, and hateful, and moronic, and ugly than Glenn Beck. Let's hope Olbermann continues to hammer away at this airhead!

Keith Olbermann - Grayson rallies support for public option

The Democratic Party finally has a real hero, Congressman Alan Grayson! He makes the rest of those wimpy wusses who call themselves Democrats look like, well, wimpy wusses!

Help send Bible booklets to typhoon victims

[Bible photo by Marc_mj]

You can help. In the United Kingdom, the Bible Society is sending small books filled with Bible verses to the Philippines to help those whose lives were smashed by recent typhoons.

Yep. Those folks without food, clothing or shelter desperately need small books filled with Bible verses!

And you can help. Over 5,000 books of Bible books with verses have already been sent, but the Bible Society is in dire need of another $100,000 buckaroos to print more Bibles and more small books with Bible verses.

Would you believe that the Bible Society was involved in a major effort to smother the Philippine people with Bibles BEFORE the typhoons hit? Yup. Their goal was to ship off one million Bibles to that far-off land filled with, well, not-really-Christian, Catholics!

Hmmm. Methinks maybe God did not look with happiness on their Bible campaign. Methinks this plan to scatter Bibles all over the Philippines met with some resistance from the deity. Methinks she sent the typhoons to stop this nonsense. The last I heard, she's really pissed at all the crazy religious bullshit that people derive from the Bible.

So, the Bible-thumpers are the ones responsible for the typhoons. And they're so damn dumb, they want to send even more Bibles, of which the people have no need, rather than food, clothing and money which they desperately need to rebuild their lives!

So, go ahead and send your money to the Bible Society if you so desire, but recognize the fact that you might be setting yourself up for a fall. You might find yourself in the middle of a typhoon!

Picky, picky, picky!

Thanks to Atheist Cartoons.

The cross in the desert - Stephen Colbert

Everything we can do to stop christianist wingnuttery helps. Thanks Colbert!

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The New Calvinists and why you should care

[Image of John Calvin found here.]

The Reformed Church in America is like the Presbyterian church, only more so. The Reformed Church, like the Presbyterian church, is a Calvinist church, following the teachings of John Calvin. You can learn more about the Reformed Church in America here.

For some folks, though, Calvinism as expressed in the theology and practice of the Reformed churches or the Presbyterian churches, is not good enough. These folks are known as the New Calvinists. Though small in numbers, they are having an impact. In fact Time magazine listed New Calvinism as No. 3 of 10 Ideas Changing the World Right Now.

New Calvinism has such an appeal it has crossed denominational lines. One New Calvinist leader is none other than Al Mohler of the Southern Baptist Convention.

According to one writer at Fallen and Flawed, "New Calvinists defy evangelical mainstream because they believe it's gone soft on sin and watered down the Gospel into a glorified self-help program..."

Yup. The nuts of the "evangelical mainstream" are not crazy enough.

Back in September, "Hundreds of Reformed believers passionate about preaching the Scriptures and making Christ known [...] convened in Minneapolis for three days of talks centered on the life and teachings of 16th century reformer John Calvin."

These folks think that "many churches today have lost confidence in the truthfulness and authority of the Bible.

But what they really want to do is return to the Middle Ages. They really like John Calvin. "We need to hear Calvin's voice once again calling us back to the Scriptures as our only source of truth and life."

Okay, that sounds like typical wingnuttery, but there's more. These folks also think that Calvin was a great man and his Institutes of the Christian Religion is the cat's meow. They like Calvin's theology: which maintains "the sovereignty of God, the sufficiency and authority of Scripture, the total depravity of humanity, and the doctrine of justification by faith alone."

Let's look at what else Calvin said and what these people are not saying. Jean (John) Calvin was born in north-west France in 1509. By age of 24, he had rejected Roman Catholicism "and within three years he had used the work of Bucer and Luther to construct not merely a new summa of Christian dogma but an entire system of state and ecclesiastical government."

His theology: "men were not only predestined to be saved, but to be damned. Satan and the devils acted on the command of God. ... God forwills all the tiniest events or actions from all eternity, whether good or evil, according to his plan."

One can know he is saved "by communion with Christ - that is, in practice by membership of a Calvinist congregation." Just don't get excommunicated, a threat which Calvin held over the heads of his followers like a bludgeon!

Calvin lived in Geneva, Switzerland. His theology required a theocracy. "To keep the elect pure, and to detect and excommunicate those predestined to be damned ... required a policing process.

"The elected councils of each city appointed elders, disciplinary officials who worked closely with the pastors; their duty was to enforce the moral code ... They met with pastors in consistories, and their excommunications were passed onto the magistrates for law-enforcement."

Woe betide those who found themselves on the wrong side of Calvin! They were not merely expelled from Geneva, but in some cases were tortured and in other cases executed! One man was executed for criticising the execution of citizens for their religious beliefs!

Calvin was bent on creating his view of the city of God on earth. [Luther wasn't much better, but that's another story.]

Calvin did not believe in freedom of conscience. Critics were excommunicated, expelled, tortured and/or murdered. " ... execution, Calvin found, was also useful to inspire terror and thus bring about compliance." (Sounds like the Bush administration!)

One of his most famous killings involved Michael Servetus, a writer, printer, geographer, astrologer, physician and surgeon. Servetus, in one of his books, proved Jesus was merely a man. For that heresy he was slated to be burned by the Inquisition, but he escaped and fled to Geneva where he was handed over to Calvin. He was burned to death (Calvin didn't want him burned, just executed!).

The New Calvinists like to talk about God's glory. So did the old Calvin. Four months after Servetus was burned to death, Calvin wrote, "One should forget all mankind when His glory is in question ... God does not even allow whole towns and populations to be spared, but will have the walls razed and the memory of the inhabitants destroyed and all things ruined as a sign of His utter detestation, lest the contagion spread."

Yes, say the New Calvinists, let's heed Calvin's voice! What does that mean? Do they wish to follow Calvin's example and make the United States the "city of God on earth," with all the death and destruction that entails?

You betcha! That's what all these goddamn dominionists, pentecostal freaks, and Reformed nogoodniks are all about! Just read their literature! They spell it all out. Make the United States a "godly nation," ruled by the laws of the Bible (as they interpret those rules).

And all this for the "glory" of God, dontcha know!

Thus, one New Calvinist leader dares say: "At the end of the day, what's most important is that God is glorified, not only in his creation but also in his plan of redemption."

Watch out! Most of us aren't going to fit in this "plan of redemption." And, what then will the New Calvinists and other religious nutcases do with us? Will they "heed John Calvin's voice"?

God forbid!

[Note: Some of this material comes from an article at Christian Post. Details relative to John Calvin are derived from Paul Johnson's A History of Christianity.]

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Keith Olbermann - RNC, worst person in the world

Rachel Maddow - Reluctant beneficiary, shameless benefactor

Thank the gods that we've got a few media folks willing to put Repugnican hypocrites in the limelight so their dark and dirty deeds become plain for all to see!

Keith Olbermann - Insurance industry attacks health legislation

The insurance companies lie through their teeth and cannot be trusted!

Intelligent Alien Intervention Institute

As you probably know, the rightwingnut christianist Discovery Institute has successfully invaded some public schools systems (see Louisiana). The result of this invasion allows the phony science of "Intelligent Design" (i.e. Creationism in disguise) to be taught alongside the real science of evolution; to give the kiddos "both sides" of the story, dontcha know!

Now, believers in alien intervention want the right to do the same.

It's very funny and sad at the same time.

h/t to Pharyngula

The Bill O'Reilly show and sexy cheerleaders

The Sacramento Bee tells the story of a "song team" from Rio Americano High School which performed a dance routine at a "back-to-school rally."

Evidently, some 17-year old child became so shook up at what he considered an exhibition of excessive sexuality, he wrote an op-ed for the school's newspaper to blow off the steam that had built up in his innards.

Now, consider that none of the 50 parents in attendance complained. Consider also that the girls "were modestly dressed in loose-fitting light pink blouses, full-length pants and sneakers. Consider further that the principal of the school, Brian Ginter, said: "What our girls did at their dance routine wasn't really anything different than I've seen in dance routines across the country."

FAUX News didn't agree with Principal Ginter. On the O'Reilly show, two dimwitted pundits, Margaret Hoover and Gretchen Carlson, saw an opportunity to get some headlines. Hoover claimed that dancing girls "...were overtly sexual. What do you call spreading your legs and shaking your booty?"

Omigod! I wonder if these two morons watch any of the shows on the FAUX network? The spreading of fully-clad legs and covered booties by a few dancers would seem rather mild up against mostly naked bodies climbing all over each other in and out of bed, the latter being pretty much a staple of prime-time TV these days.

I'm not complaining. I'm calling FAUX News, the O'Reilly show and Hoover and Carlson hypocritical opportunists!

Perhaps it is time we remember Bill O'Reilly's sexual predator moves of the not-so-distant past. Five years ago yesterday a producer by name of Andrea Mackris filed a sexual harrassment suit against O'Reilly.

It was settled out of court (for big bucks, we heard) two weeks later.

But the story didn't end there. And the truth came out. It was about phone sex with O'Reilly on the giving end and Mackris on the receiving end. O'Reilly spoke of vibrators, threesomes, Bill's 'big cock' and nipples, among other things.

What on earth would Carlson and Hoover have to say about that? And one wonders if O'Reilly was fully clothed when engaging in such titillating and unwanted conversations with Mackris? Were his legs spread? Was his booty covered? Were his moves overtly sexual?

Check for yourself: Read more here. And here. And here.

Bad dogs, not blue dogs!

[Photo from here.]

BS Alert notes today that there were five Democratic senators who voted against a public option in the healthcare reform package.

They are:

Max Baucus, Montana
Kent Conrad, North Dakota
Blanche Lincoln, Arkansas
Bill Nelson, Florida
Tom Carper, Delaware

If it is true that a high percentage (81%) of our citizens favor a public option, why would these five bad dogs vote against it?

The answer is easy: money! And lots of it.

We've already noted that Max Baucus is a hired hand of the insurance industry, bought and paid for and he delivered as per his instructions.

The rest? Well, they are all recipients of the the health insurance industry's largess.

Here are some figures from BS Alert:

Baucus - $7,734,102
Lincoln - $4,190,592
Conrad - $3,287,891
Nelson - $2,414,895
Carper - $1,592,380

All told: $19 million.

Nelson is from Florida, the state wherein I live. He's also a member of the ultra-secretive, right-wing, christianist operation known as The Family which believes its members are called by God to wield power in the world and thus are not to be held to normal standards of behavior and accountability.

Nelson needs to go and Florida needs to elect someone who's committed to our Constitution and not to Jesus.

They all need to go. They are traitors to the cause. The Democratic Party has enough problems without its members acting like Repugnicans!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rachel Maddow - When health industry lobbyists attack

Here's more on the health insurance crisis. This is war. And it's the good guys against the bad guys; and it appears the bad guys may be winning 'cause there are too few good guys; especially in Congress!

Keith Olbermann - Insurance industries ambush health reform bill

Here you will hear that the insurance companies are bad guys and they've ambushed health reform and that health insurance premiums are going to continue to go up no matter what. Oh, you'll hear a lot more, too, most of which will make you sick!

No kidding. Who's surprised about that when Baucus and his friends are surrounded by lobbyists from the health insurance industry telling him what to put in the bill?

Jack Van Impe, the New World Order, and Obama

This video is posted to allow my readers to experience first hand the kind of crap that is being aired every day and night on the radio and television by crazy goddamn kooks who pretend to be Christians and pretend to know something about the Bible.

These are false witnesses; phonies and charlatans. They live high on the hog off the donations of the deluded and the ignorant who don't know enough to tune them out!

Jack Van Impe, a TV evangelist, has been picking the pockets of the stoopids for years. Now, this idiot, back in January claimed he had "insider information from the Bilderberg meetings" that not only was there to be a New World Order with A One World Government, but Obama was chosen to lead it!

Jack Van Impe is a con artist, a scammer, a dealer in religious tripe. He is, to use a rather crude expression, full of more shit than a Christmas goose!

See, or listen, for yourself!

Winning the Nobel Peace Prize means Obama's the anti-Christ

[Image from here]

Yes, the kooky christianist wingnuts on the right are crazier than previously thought!

Meg White at Buzzflash tells all about it: The Nobel Peace Prize is proof that not only is President Obama the anti-Christ but the end of time is coming very soon!

Ms. White notes these christianist wingnuts believe that the anti-Christ will be a beloved and charismatic figure. She quotes one nutcase who says that anti-Christ "...will be super, not ordinary ... He will possess great eloquence, charm, wit, military genius, vision, and intelligence. He will be extremely influential ... a false champion of peace, and will possess strong leadership abilities..."

Hmmm. Except for the part about "genius, vision and intelligence," that description could apply to Ronnie Reagan!

Never you mind, these christianist freaks are not referring to Ronnie the beloved, they're talking about Obama. Obama's da man!

Thus, another goofy website, referring to Obama, said, "If he's not 'it', then the 'one' to come will sure be a doozy, because I have never seen an individual's characteristics and worship by the world fit any better than this creepy Obama."

Ms. White goes on to explain how the christianist wingnuts are not only anti-Obama, but are "also anti-peace and anti-Nobel." And anytime two or more nations get together to work cooperatively, they get "nervous," believing such a thing is a sure sign of the end times!

Well, there's much more and you can read it all here.

It's just so sad these dumb bastards know nothing about the bible or ancient apocalyptic literature or their legendary Jesus or history! Once again my conviction that we would all be much better off if the Bible had never been written is confirmed!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Bill Moyers: In Washington, Revolving Doors are Bad for Your Health

Crooks and Liars cites Bill Moyers Journal:

BILL MOYERS: You know from the news that early next week the Senate Finance Committee is expected to vote on its version of health care reform. And therein lies another story of money and politics.

Polls show the overwhelming majority of Americans favor a non-profit alternative -- like Medicare -- that would give the private health insurance industry some competition. But if so many Americans and the President himself want that public option, how come we're not getting one?

Because, the medicine has been poisoned from day one, in part because of that same revolving door that Congresswoman Kaptur and Simon Johnson were just talking about. Movers and shakers rotate between government and the lucrative private sector at a speed so dizzying they forget who they're working for.

SEN. MAX BAUCUS: Our plan does not include a public option.

BILL MOYERS: Take a close look at that woman sitting behind Montana Senator Max Baucus. He's the Democrat who's the Chairman of the Finance Committee. Liz Fowler is her name. And now get this. She used to work for WellPoint, the largest health insurer in the country. She was Vice President of Public Policy. And now she's working for the very committee with the most power to give her old company and the entire industry exactly what they want: higher profits, and no competition from alternative non-profit coverage that could lower costs and premiums.

I'm not making this up. Here's another little eye-opener. The woman who was Baucus' top health advisor before he hired Liz Fowler? Her name is Michelle Easton. Why did she leave the Committee? To go to work -- where else? -- at a firm representing the same company Liz Fowler worked for WellPoint. As a lobbyist.

It's the old Washington shell game. Lobbyist out, lobbyist in. And it's why they always win.

They've been plowing this ground for years, but with the broad legislative agenda of the Obama White House, it's more fertile than ever. The health insurance industry alone has six lobbyists for every member of Congress, and more than 500 of them are former congressional staff members.

Just to be certain Congress sticks with the program, they've been showering megabucks all over Capitol Hill. From the beginning, they wanted to make sure that the bill that comes out of the Finance Committee next week puts for-profit health insurance companies first, by forcing the uninsured to buy medical policies from them. Money not only talks, it writes the prescriptions.

In just the last few months, the health care industry has spent 380 million dollars on lobbying, advertising and campaign contributions. And a million and a half of it went to -- don't hold your breath -- Finance Committee Chairman Baucus, who said he saw "a lot to like" in two proposed public options but voted "no."

SEN. MAX BAUCUS: My job is to put together a bill that gets 60 votes. Now I can count and no one has been able to show me how we can count up to 60 votes with a public option in the bill.

BILL MOYERS: Of course not. They can't get 60 votes. Not when the people who want a public alternative can't possibly scrape up the millions of dollars Baucus has received from the health sector during his political career.

Over the last two decades, the current members of the Senate Finance Committee - you're looking at them -- have collected nearly 50 million dollars from the health sector. A long-term investment that's now paying off like a busted slot machine.

Not that we should be surprised. A century ago, muckraking journalists reported that large corporations and other wealthy interests virtually owned the Senate, using bribery, fraud, and sometimes blackmail to get their way. Jokes were made about the Senator from Union Pacific or the Senator from Standard Oil.

This fellow in particular was out to break their grip. His name was David Graham Phillips, and one day in 1906, readers of COSMOPOLITAN MAGAZINE opened its March issue to discover the first of nine articles by Phillips titled "The Treason of the Senate."

He wrote: "Treason is a strong word, but not too strong, rather too weak, to characterize the situation in which the Senate is the eager, resourceful, indefatigable agent of interests as hostile to the American people as any invading army could be..."

The public outrage provoked by Phillips and other muckrakers contributed to the passage of the Constitutional amendment providing for the direct election of Senators, who until then were elected by easily bought-off state legislators.

Of course, like water seeking its own level, big money finds its way around every obstacle, and was soon up to its old tricks, filling the pockets of friendly politicians. Today none dare call it treason. So how about calling it what it is: a friendly takeover of government. A leveraged buyout of democracy.

Outrageous? You bet. But don't just get mad. Get busy.

I would add this: It is amazing the blatant chicanery that goes on right out in the open. Baucus is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the health insurance industry and works for the health insurance industry and doesn't care who knows it! How does a creep like that keep getting elected?

+ + + +

Comment by Bob Poris:

I suggest we all read this carefully and then pass it on.

The facts are known and have been for years.  Lobbyists write our laws and the Congress claims they have not read them before the bills are passed.

Congress is paid to make laws and to read them. Lobbyists are paid to influence laws on behalf of their employers.

The revolving doors have been reported for years, and persist.

Congress makes the rules governing their work. They vote for the perks they want. The Lobbyists have endless money to be used to benefit special interests. We all know it but little changes.

Hysterical advice from John McCain

Why the hell is John McCain being interviewed on CNN or on any other media outlet? The man lost the election, largely because most of what he had to say as a candidate made no sense whatsoever. It was obvious to a majority of voters that McCain was confused, addled, and not very bright. Not to mention he was and is ethically and morally challenged.

CNN though, unworried about such trivialities, sets up a situation which gives McCain opportunity to warn President Obama that if he doesn't send 40,000 more troops to Afghanistan like Gen. McChrystal wants him to do, he will be making "an error of historic proportions."

Heh. Heh.

This from the clown who didn't (and likely still doesn't) know the difference between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims! This from the joker who was so consumed with a delusional need to become president that, at the behest of the extremist christianist wingnuts in the Repugnican Party, he asked the dimwit, Sarah Palin, to be his running mate!

McCain is not president because the people sensed rightly he would continue the Bush policy of making one horrendous decision after another. McCain said he thought it would be no problem to keep troops in Iraq for another 100 years, if necessary! By this time, McCain would have very likely embroiled us in another war with Iran. And when it comes to the economy or health care - well, McCain has always been the lobbyists' best friend, so you can guess his course of action in those areas!

Unfortunately, there are no easy answers with regard to Afghanistan. One thing we know for sure, though: We cannot win this war! I say, "we," with tongue-in-cheek. The warmongers among the military are walking down the exact same road we walked in Vietnam; we're following the same war-weary policies that got so many of our young people killed unnecessarily and for no purpose.

Afghanistan is no different. We have no business there. We cannot win. What should we do?

McCain, the Repugnicans, the Pentagon, and the defense industry (the latter desperately needing a continuing war to continue to make its insane profits) all cry: Send more troops, send more troops!

For what purpose? To what end? How many lives are we willing to sacrifice on the altar of greed and militarism before the body bags become too many and too heavy to bear?

McCain warns Obama not to make a mistake of "historic proportions." McCain thereby makes his own mistake of historic proportions, which would be hysterical if it wasn't so damn serious and so damn deadly!

Bring the troops home and bring them home now. And send McCain back to Arizona where he can sit in one of his many homes with his wife, Cindy, and blow on his soup. And tell him to STFU!


Thanks to Atheist Cartoons.

Rachel Maddow - the Texas nutcase, Louie Gohmert

Texas has some fine, upstanding, intelligent people. Unfortunately, those folks don't get elected to Congress. Instead, Texas sends people like Louie Gohmert to Congress.

Louie Gohmert is ... well, nutcase is too nice a word. The man is living in the 16th century, is ignorant as the squirrels in my back yard, and there is something seriously wrong with way his brain works.

As you shall see in this video.

Out! Out, you damned priests and clerics!

In Egypt, a Muslim cleric by name of Sheik Mohammed Tantawi, plans to issue a fatwa. A fatwa is a Islamic religious ruling. While it does not have the force of law, it does function as a threat. He's issuing a fatwa against Muslim women who dare to wear the niqab in Egypt's schools. The niqab is a covering for the face.

The niqab, says the sheik, can lead to religious extremism and has nothing to do with Islam.

That fatwa decision prompted Egypt's Minister of Higher Education to forbid the wearing of the niqab in university residences.

But what about other Muslim clerics who issue fatwas against those who refuse to wear the niqab?

This stuff is all so confusing. And isn't it interesting that grownup, adult men and women, allow old men to tell them what the hell to wear based upon their reading of ancient scribblings by ignorant people in religious materials that were written before people realized that religion can be damn dangerous to one's overall health?

Why do people allow such a thing to happen?

Are they afraid of burning forever in hell? Do they fear they may miss out on Paradise? Are they so brainwashed in childhood that they can no longer think for themselves?

I think the Egyptian cleric's fatwa is probably a good thing. Why cover up the beautiful faces of these queens of the Nile?

But the whole notion that some old fart, sitting in the dark dungeon of medieval superstitional nonsense, has the "right" to tell other people how to dress or not dress is mind-boggling. And I'm not just talking about Muslims.

In Italy, in the political state known as the Vatican, sit other old farts, in their own dark dungeons of medieval stupidity, issuing their own "fatwas," which often relate to the sexual activities of their constituents, thereby mightily increasing unhappiness and disease around the planet.

Rise up you Muslims, Christians, and other degraded peoples! Your religious leaders have "authority" or "power" only because you give it to them. You do yourselves in! Tell them all to go to hell; think for yourselves! Nobody has the right to tell you what to believe, what to wear, how to vote, how to pray, or what to think about anything.

Disobey these cretinic servants of imaginary deities! Deny their authority and their power will quickly diminish and they will be in your hands to dispose of as you will! They create nothing but hate and discord. The fate of the world rests with you and your ability to think and reason for yourselves!

Wear whatever the hell you want to! Laugh at them when they tell you that you must pray or how you must pray. Howl in derision when they warn you that hell awaits if you disobey their fatwas!

Then go find your brothers and sisters who share a common humanity. Embrace. Say:

"Come, let us reason together. Let us live in peace. We no longer believe those who claim to have the word of God for the words they speak drive us apart and threaten the existence of our species!

"We will no longer listen to them. We will listen to our hearts. We will walk hand in hand toward a future that we create together for ourselves and for our children; a future that will have no place in it for black-robed clerics who claim authority over us; a future that glows with the promise of freedom and hope and peace."

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The cancer of American capitalism

This was swiped with gratitude from Station Charon

Men are beasts saith Ecclesiastes

I mused: "God will doom both righteous and wicked, for there is a time for every experience and for every happening." So I decided, as regards men, to dissociate them [from] the divine beings and to face the fact that they are beasts. For in respect of the fate of man and the fate of beast, they have one and the same fate: as the one dies so dies the other, and both have the same lifebreath; man has no superiority over beast, since both amount to nothing. Both go to the same place; both came from dust and both return to dust. Who knows if a man's lifebreath does rise upward and if a beast's breath does sink down into the earth?

I saw that there is nothing better for man than to enjoy his possessions, since that is his portion. For who can enable him to see what will happen afterward?

--Ecclesiastes 3:17-22 (The Jewish Study Bible)

Rachel Maddow - Nobels and Whistles

Hawaiian "evangelicals" to engage in politics for Christ

[Image from here.]

Evidently the state of Hawaii is just too damn liberal for certain so-called "evangelical" christiansts who have set up shop there.

The issue of the moment is gay and lesbian civil unions. Because these christianists were able to shoot down same-sex marriage 10 years ago, they are flexing their muscles once again.

Sometime in the coming year Hawaii's legislature intends to give serious thought to the notion that homosexual couples should be able to form civil unions. The wingnuts on the right are up in arms, and the fundy Protestants have jumped in bed with the kooky Catholics to defeat this offense against their poor, impotent little god who obviously can't fend for herself.

But, there's more. The issue of civil union is seen as a jumping-off point for these religionists to push Hawaii back to the Stone Age. It is to be part of a larger political effort to put "conservatives" in Hawaii's driver's seat.

According to, Garret Hashimoto, chief honcho of the Hawaii Christian Coalition, said, "Conservatives (almost) never win here. [But] we won big in 1998, and this issue is coming up again in 2010. So, hopefully, 1998 will again surface in 2010."

That may not happen. Some observers believe that voters in Hawaii are more favorable toward civil unions now than they were ten years ago. I haven't seen any data to support that belief, however.

These damn christianists are so disingenuous, so sneaky, so nasty, so un-Christian! The matter of civil unions is a wedge issue to help foment a bigger and ongoing campaign to get their favored candidates elected to positions of political powers. It is illegal, however, for churches to endorse specific candidates, so they intend to talk about "moral principles."

"Moral principles" in this case means no same sex marriage, civil unions, etc.

And everyone in Hawaii knows immediately the gubernatorial candidate the religious wingnuts favor is Hawaii's current Lt. Governor, Repugnican James "Duke" Aiona.

"Aiona has made no secret of his strong religious convictions nor his conservative views on social issues, including opposition to civil unions, gay marriage and abortion. He has attended religious rallies and in 2004 told a prayer gathering that 'Hawaii belongs to Jesus.'"

I wonder if Jesus knows that? Oh, wait, he died 2000 years ago.

The christianist wingnuts, being sneaky and snarky and snaky, as we said, plan to inundate their sheeple with literature and information about all the various candidates running for political office. But, no one is fooled. It's an overt if underhanded attempt to influence the political process using the power the pompous priests and pious pastors hold over their ignorant faithful.

Let's hope it doesn't work. Hawaii, like the rest of the nation, needs men and women in political office who believe in the Constitution, not the Bible; who will commit themselves to the people, not to Jesus; who will be representatives of all the diverse people in our land, not just the nutty few!

Why may it not work? Because this blatant attempt to impose fundy christianity on the people of Hawaii is beginning to raise opposition among the sane and the sensitive. Rabbi Peter Schaktman of Temple Emanu-El, who supports same-sex marriage, said all this supercilious piousness on the part of the christianist wingnuts may rouse those who support civil unions to get involved in the political process.

"It may prove," saith the Rabbi, "to be ultimately their undoing."

We can only hope.

The importance of this story, however, reaches far beyond Hawaii. At this moment, all over our fair land, in states and cities large and small, christianist wingnuts are on their knees praying to their god, which doesn't mean a hill of beans, but are also working hard to impose their christianist religion on the rest of us - and that does mean something!

These people are very dangerous to the continuing health of our nation!

Be aware, be awake, be ready to fight back!

How Long?

Thanks to Atheist Cartoons.

Sarah Silverman - Sell the Vatican, feed the world

Warning to the easily offended: this video contains adult-like material.

h/t to The Friendly Atheist

Alan Grayson: The Repubs want a Nobel Prize for fear