Saturday, January 29, 2011
Lauren Kelley, in an article on AlterNet, notes that Perry "publicly trashed the Obama administration's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act while quietly begging for and accepting a much-needed bailout ... "
Perry "actually launched a 'No Government Bailouts' campaign and published an anti-bailout op-ed in the Washington Times on the same day he applied for ARRA funds.
2. There is a cross in La Jolla, California, atop Mount Soledad. A cross was first put up there in 1913. The one that stands there now is supposed to be "a war memorial." But some folks, like the Jewish War Veterans of the United States as well as the ACLU, believe it is a specifically Christian symbol and should be taken down.
The issue went to court and a U.S. Federal Judge ruled that the cross was part of a memorial that "communicates the primarily nonreligious messages of military service, death and sacrifice," and therefore could remain on public land.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in opposition to that notion and said the cross was unconstitutional - it violated the establishment clause. "[I]n adopting the First Amendment, the Founders were prescient in recognizing that, without eschewing religion, neither can the government be seen as favoring one religion over another. The balance is subtle but fundamental to our freedom of religion."
Why can't the right-wing wackos and the christianist politicos of today get that into their thick heads?
3. In Phoenix, the Roman Catholic Bishop, Thomas J. Olmstead, "has stripped St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center of its 115-year affiliation because administrators -- including a nun -- allowed doctors to remove a dying 11-week old fetus from a mother of four because she would have died without the procedure."
Here we have in bold print the absurdity of religion, in this particular case, the absolute absurdity of the Roman Catholic form of Christianity! Olmstead is the perfect Pharisee as described in the Gospel of Matthew - fussing about the letter of the law and missing completely its spirit; missing completely the teaching of his Jesus!
Well, what does Olmstead's "stripping" of St. Joseph's affiliation mean? Not a hell of a lot. Olmstead said "The Catholic faithful are free to seek care or to offer care at St. Joseph's Hospital, but I cannot guarantee that the care provided will be in full accord with the teachings of the Church."
Heh, heh. Who the hell cares? Who the hell cares anymore what a Catholic bishop says about anything? Who cares about a church institution that served and still serves as a haven for predators of young children; whose hypocrisy is monumental, decrying homosexuality when 25-50 percent of its priestly leaders are gay?
If I was religious, I would say "Thank God for those clear-headed, compassionate people at St. Joseph's who saved the life of that mother of four children! And to hell with Olmstead and all the other sanctimonious creeps who hold positions of "authority" in that monstrous organization!
4. We all know Jim DeMint as the Jesus-smitten loony from South Carolina who is part of The Family - the organization that is working to take over the world for God and therefore believe that their ends justify just about any means.
Tracy Clark-Flory, at Salon, tells how back last fall, DeMint spoke at a church rally. What he said was reported by the Spartanburg Herald Journal. "DeMint said if someone is openly homosexual, they shouldn't be teaching in the classroom and he holds the same position on an unmarried women who's sleeping with her boyfriend - she shouldn't be in the classroom."
Well, DeMint is a bigot. A big bigot! A horse's ass! Unfortunately, he is a member of our Congress.
And I couldn't have said it better myself!
5. In Florida, the morons are out in force!
Personhood Florida represents a group of retrogrades, people of such low intelligence and morality, they should probably be sent off to a desert island where they couldn't cause any further damage to the general population. Personhood Florida believes (note that word because what they "believe" has no scientific justification whatsoever!) that a fetus become person at conception; a real, human person.
That's OK in the sense that these fruitcakes are free to believe any damn thing they want. Where it gets sticky is their insistance that their beliefs become law in the state of Florida! To that end they are "sponsoring a proposed state amendment that would grant personhood to fetuses."
Thus, their "initiative" would "ban abortion and some forms of birth control."
Now in order to achieve their objectives, they put together a weekend gathering for Florida pastors in order to obtain several thousand signatures, and they hope that the pastors will get the "word" out to people so that Personhood Florida can get enough signatures to put their initiative on the 2012 ballot!
Well, if you want to do something truly stupid and nonsensical, get the pastors in line!
6. This comes from Alex Pareene at Salon. The Tea Party, as we know, lives a world all its own; a fantasy world they have created from their own imaginations. This becomes especially evident when they talk about our country's so-called "Founding Fathers."
Up in Tennessee, where as one woman from that state told me recently, "we Tennesseans don't like Al Gore!", Tea Party crackpots are demanding that the state legislature "amend state laws governing school curriculums, and for textbook selection criteria to say that 'No portrayal of minority experience in the history which actually occurred shall obscure the experience or contributions of the Founding Fathers, or the majority of citizens, including those who reached positions of leadership.'"
Well, it really comes down to racism. A Tea Party crackpot spokesman, "Fayette County attorney Hal Rounds ... said the group wants to address 'an awful lot of made-up criticism about, for instance, the founders intruding on the Indians or having slaves or being hypocrites in one way or another.'"
As Pareene put it: "OK, but ... I mean ... those guys did a lot of 'intruding' and slave-owning, is the thing."
Sunday, January 23, 2011
But a whole lot of us who live in Forida came to rue the day that ol' Jeb first arrived in Tallahassee. If, however, you thought ol' Jeb was bad, wait 'til you see what Rick Scott is going to do to this state!
Scott, you may remember, spent $70 million of his own money to lie his way into the governor's seat. Which is what you might expect for Scott is the shady character who headed up Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corporation, as noted by Carl Hiaasen, "falsified patient's bills and gave kickbacks to doctors, among other scams.
"While the FBI was hauling away company records, Scott got the boot. Columbis/HCA later paid a $1.7 billion fine for perpetrating the largest Medicare fraud in the history of Medicare, no small feat.
"Scott was never charged with a crime ... [but] He left Columbia/HCA with a $300 million-plus severance package ..."
Scott admits that he was responsible for what went on at Columbia/HCA, but denies knowing of any illegal activity. That, of course, is laughable. As Hiaasen says, "The fraud was so massive and institutionalized that his statement can't be taken seriously. If he truly didn't know what was happening all around him, he's an incompetent fool.
"And if he did know, he's a lying crook."
Hmmm. It would appear that the second option is a more accurate choice.
Scott made some big promises during his campaign. It should come as no surprise, however, due to his ongoing inability to tell the truth, that some of those promises are going to be forgotten now that he's in the cat-bird seat.
Scott flies about in his own personal jet, and he refuses to make his flight plans public, which is a pretty good way of keeping secrets from the people of Florida. He did, however, visit a notorious gambling promoter in Vegas recently, which fueled speculation that he may be reneging on his supposed opposition to open Florida to more gambling. He says that's not so. They were just visiting.
But that's a minor promise. What about the other promises: he will, he promised over and over again on the campaign trail, "single-handedly slash property taxes, create 700,000 new jobs and shrink state government."
Or, as Hiaasen put it, "And right after that, he'll climb into a great big balloon and fly Dorothy and Toto back to Kansas."
Let us not forget: the man who perpetrated the largest Medicare fraud ever is now the governor of Florida!
Historically, the Roman church has been [and remains] anti-science. The Roman church bases its beliefs, not on the rigor of scientific inquiry, but on its interpretation of the Bible and its ever-changing tradition. The Church only accepts scientific truth when that truth has labeled the church's beliefs as bullshit.
So when Pope Benny came out recently to announce that his god set up the Big Bang which resulted in the creation of our universe, one cannot help but be amused, or bemused or be caught up in a non-religious hissy-fit!
For this is one more in a long line of examples of the Roman church closing a god-gap. The Roman church has believed and promoted all kinds of non-scientific claims down through the years (remember Galileo?) and persecuted, even killed those who dared challenge the "truth" set forth by the popes and their minions. When the Church could not explain a natural event or unusual circumstance, it laid the blame or the credit on god. Then when science came along to dissemble the church's stance, to cover the gap between what the church believed and reality, the church simply moved on to another gap. Its "god" became known as the "god of the gaps."
The big gap remains, however: how did the universe begin 13 billion years ago? Who, if anyone, is responsible for the beginning of the universe?
Science can answer the first question: The universe began with the Big Bang. The only people who argue against that scientific "truth," are those numbnuts in the Discovery Institute and their creationist and intelligent design cohorts, and all the ignorant people and stupid fundamentalist Christians that befoul our fair land.
Aha! But who is responsible for the Big Bang? Scientists, by and large, say no one is responsible. It was a "chance" event. It just happened. And they've got the data to back up their claims. No god shows up in that data. No god is necessary for the Big Bang.
Here cometh Pope Benny. Pope Benny, speaking to a group of Catholics at the Vatican, saith "The universe is not the result of chance, as some would want to make us believe."
Pope Benny is pronouncing here, as only a pope can pronounce, so pay attention: "Contemplating it [the universe], we are invited to read something profound into it: the wisdom of the creator, the inexhaustible creativity of God."
Sounds good; sounds nice and reassuring if you are a believer. Unfortunately, however, Pope Benny is just blowing smoke up our collective ass. He's making that up. He has absolutely no evidence for anything he said.
And, as has happened so often in the history of the Church, it continues to preach a god to cover what it assumes is a gap in scientific understanding. Benny's god is just another "god of the gaps." Sadly, however, so far as Pope Benny and his church is concerned, the gap has been closed.
There was no god present for the Big Bang and no god is needed for the Big Bang.
And that's the way it is this January, 2011.