Saturday, November 13, 2010

Just more paperwork

Please click on cartoon to enlarge.

Thanks to Atheist Cartoons.

Oh, you devil, you!

[Image from here]

Science vs. superstition.  Reason vs. Roman Catholic theology.  The battle continues.

There are not enough exorcists in the Roman church, so the RC bishops are in process of conducting a two-day "how-to" workshop in Baltimore on the rite of exorcism.

At the end of the second decade of the second millennium, there remain people all over the world who believe in "demons," and demon-possession. They further believe that these demons who might decide to "possess" certain humans, can be exorcised through a series of magical words and actions.

But you must be properly trained so that you can identify a real demon possession as opposed to say, just plain craziness. You also need to learn the exact magic words and when to say them as well as the proper magic actions, such as blowing into the victims face and making the sign of the cross.

It is essentially a problem of evil - spiritual evil, saith the good prelates of Romanism.

Unfortunately for the bishops, science has failed to demonstrate the reality of "demons" or demon possession. Magical words and magical actions remain just that - magic, and thus silly and stupid, no matter what the words or the actions.

Evil is certainly a reality if evil be defined as that which reduces the value of a human life or that which increases unhappiness and pain. Psychology has known for years that some people seem to lack a conscience or any feeling of empathy for their fellow humans and act accordingly. Others may have a conscience and thus know the difference between what most of us agree is right and wrong but simply don't give a damn.

Then there is institutional evil as expressed today in a world where capitalism has run amok as corporatism, where everything not contributing to the bottom line is suppressed and/or eliminated.

Governments can also be evil if they exist only to perpetuate themselves and their power. Thus, the clear statements of today's Republican leaders in which they have promised that for the next two years they will work only for the political demise of Barack Obama in 2012 can only be classified as evil.

And religion - perhaps the greatest source of evil in the history of the human race! Religion - the cause of more war, misery, pain, hatred, destruction, and just plain evil than any other source.

Consider the institution with which we started - the Roman Catholic Church which is worried about non-existent demons and magical rites to exorcise said non-existent demons while 1) continuing evil practices to the detriment of millions of lives around the world, e.g. disallowed condoms which could prevent the spread of AIDS; berating homosexuals and disavowing gay rights while the Roman church itself is comprised of 25-50% gay priests; denying women a rightful place in the church because of misguided, indeed false legends regarding priesthood in the early church, among many other things, and 2) failing to deal adequately with the problem of pedophilia amongst the leaders of the Roman church by refusing to even discuss the widespread parameters of the problem or discipline properly those pedophiles who have ruined thousands of lives down through the years.

Pedophilia in the Roman church is an unspeakable evil; incomprehensible; undeniable.  It is so evil that it effectively destroys forever the Roman Church as any kind of moral voice in the world.  Anything the Roman church says about right and wrong can no longer be taken with any seriousness.  The Roman church is forever tainted by institutional evil, which continues even now.

If there were an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent god who was also a loving god by human standards, he or she would have struck down the Roman church and turned it into a heap of burning rubble before it got started. He or she would never have allowed it to continue for over 2,000 years as one of the world's major repositories of evil, and continue today to obscure and avoid the real evil within its walls by pointing at fantastical and mythological demons and carrying out the pretense of casting out these "demons" with magical chants and signs and actions.

Don't tread on me, I'm off to drown in the sea!

[Image - Wikimedia Commons]

The teapot crackpots in the State of Virginia want a new license plate to hang on their vehicles. Said license plate would bear the slogan, "Don't Tread on Me!"

This would be funny or merely silly if, in fact, the teapot crackpots were not a real and present danger to our democratic form of government and its Constitutional underpinnings.

The person responsible for this bit of stupidity is, of course, a Repugnican, a delegate by name of John O'Bannon. But, says O'Bannon, he's not trying to make a political statement.

Why do so many teapot crackpots speak Orwellian?

To be a teapot crackpot, you've got to be, first of all, ignorant. You have to be one of those folks who drifted off during your American history class, and political science class, and civics class. You really never learned much of anything about anything and graduated from high school with the good fortune of barely knowing how to read (at the 8th-grade level) or write.

To be a teapot crackpot, you've also got to be easily conned. The teapot movement is not a grass-roots thing at all. It didn't start because a bunch of knowledgeable folks got together to try to change the government to make it function better to serve their needs. Many, if not all, teapot dreamers thinks that's the way it went, but they are sadly mistaken, for they have been taken.

The teapot crackpot movement, better known as the Tea Party movement, is the birthchild of the ultra-right-wing billionaire Koch brothers and their many affiliated front groups, along with other monied sources such as Rupert Murdoch. It was organized by lobbyists for huge right-wing corporate entities who give not a damn for our country or the people of the country but only for their bottom line.

FAUX News, of course, played a huge role, publicizing and sponsoring tea party rallies around the country, and providing teapot crackpots a national pulpit to spew their nonsense amongst the rabble who ate it up.

And the irony is, the teapot crackpots have grown from a pesky gnat on the backside of an elephant to a huge canker sore the size of Alaska on the nose of the Republic. All because millions of people were completely duped into voting against their own interests in favor of the corporations who will swindle them out of what little they have left and destroy the environment which gives them life.

Now a teapot asshat in Virginia wants his state to offer a license plate with the teapot crackpot motto, "Don't Tread on Me." The meaning here, to a teapot crackpot, is clear: Big, bad government, don't put me down any more!"

The common people, the middle-classes, have been subjected to so much moronic rhetoric for so long they've come to believe it. Teapot crackpots supposedly believe in limited government, fiscal austerity, and less taxation.

That may have made some sense 230 years ago when the population hovered around 4 million people. At 300 million, it makes no sense at all. And actually, the teapot crackpots don't believe in any of this. Limited government means many different things. Some of the Religious Right kooks, the Reconstructionists (of whom we have several now in Congress), want the government to be reconstructed according to their interpretation of God's law. Democracy is a no-no! Old Testament law is in. But most teapot crackpots want a government limited to doing what they want it to do, that is to say, give bigger tax breaks to the rich, deregulate corporations so they can do whatever they wish, ban all gun restrictions, ban all abortions, allow prayer in public schools, or better yet, get rid of all public schools, etc. They most definitely don't want the government to help the unfortunate, the sick, the elderly.

Fiscal austerity means nothing more than the process of redistributing the wealth upward. In recent days several right-wingers have appeared on television bemoaning the fact that the poor rich people need more tax breaks. Everyone should be treated the same; we're all in this together; the rich are just like everyone else; they need their tax breaks, even if said tax breaks increase the budget deficit.

Less taxation is another phony issue. Because teapot crackpots are ignorant and get their "news" from FAUX News or Limbaarger or other crackpot sources, they are unaware that they paid less taxes last year under the Obama administration than they did the year before under Georgi W. Buski.

But the real kicker in all of this is that the teapot crackpots with "Don't Tread on Me" license plates have absolutely no solid proposals to make relative to their notions of limited government, fiscal austerity, or less taxation other than to give more to the rich and less to the middle and lower classes. Thus we find proposals  to privatize Social Security appearing once again (in spite of the fact that Social Security is NOT in trouble and would have been devastated if Bush had had his way a few years ago!) The teapot mantra is enrich the rich and take away from the poor.

When asked what government programs should be cut, most teapot crackpots go into a kind of daze and their eyes glaze over.

In other words, the Tea Party teapot crackpots are empty shells. The Tea Party functions as an arm of very rich corporate honchos, serving their needs. They have nothing to offer the country other than slogans devoid of meaning. "Don't Tread on Me" is profoundly stupid. The government is not "treading on them," their corporate masters are, and they are too ignorant to know the difference! They need the government. The government provides them with the services the NEED to survive. And taxes are not evil, but that which makes government services available. What is evil is when the very rich do not pay their fair share or when, due to their buying of Congress people, they are exempted from paying anything, as is the case with many large corporations today!

Don't tread on me. And in Virginia, as the teapot crackpots line up to buy these sloganized license plates one cannot help but be reminded of how the lemmings gather together to march off the cliff to their collective demise in the sea!

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Daily Show - Jon Stewart:: The Decider Returns

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The Decider Returns
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McConnell a liar? So, what's new?

Evidence of the fact that Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, is a liar, should be of no surprise to anyone, but some people, even in his own state, have never gotten the word.

The Louisville Courier-Journal has taken Mr. McConnell to task for being his usual duplicitous self.  It seems that back in 2006, while McConnell was blasting Congressional Democrats for asking Bush to reduce troop levels in Iraq, he was doing the same thing privately!

McConnell declared piously that the Dems, by pulling some of our soldiers out of the country, would endanger the poor people of Iraq, leaving them to the evil schemes of al-Qaeda!  

It gets worse.  Not only was McConnell completely hypocritical in such an assertion, but the reason was purely political. By removing some troops from Iraq, saith McConnell to Bush, the Republican Party might very well receive a boost in the 2006 elections.

The Louisville Courier-Journal, in a desperate way-too-late move to become a real newspaper and do what a newspaper is supposed to do, wants McConnell to explain how he could be such a hypocrite, but more importantly, how he could put the fate of the Republican Party over the well-being of the country.

Well, duh! That is how today's Republican Party, comprised of ignorant, backward, corporate-owned, Christian Reconstructionists, teapot crackpots, and other assorted no-goodniks, operates!

McConnell is only one miserable example.