lunadelcorvo: (Facepaw Polar bear)
Published on Right Wing Watch (http://www.rightwingwatch.org)

Religious Right Brings Back the Halal Meat Panic




lunadelcorvo: (Facepaw Polar bear)
Published on Right Wing Watch (http://www.rightwingwatch.org)

Religious Right Brings Back the Halal Meat Panic




lunadelcorvo: (Fox on Pilgrimage)
Idaho pharmacist denies anti-bleeding med because woman MIGHT have had an abortion
A pharmacist at a Nampa, Idaho, Walgreens refused to dispense medication that stops uterine bleeding because she suspected the woman may have had an abortion. The pharmacist invoked the state's new so-called conscience clause that allows pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for emergency contraceptives and abortifacient drugs, among other things, if they have a personal problem with it.

Last November, a woman took her prescription for Methergine, a drug that stops uterine bleeding regardless of cause, to Walgreens. The pharmacist, suspicious that the woman's uncontrolled bleeding may have been the result of an abortion, called the nurse practitioner who wrote the prescription to inquire why the patient needed it. When the nurse refused to answer because to do so would violate the patient's confidentiality, the pharmacist hung up on her and refused to fill the prescription.
OK, I have serious issues with the so-called 'conscience clause' to begin with. But when we end up with pharmacists (freakin pharmacists!) thinking they have the right to decide whether to dispense medications that have no abortifacent attributes to them at all, because they *think* they *might* be used to treat the *after-effects* of a *possible* abortion? Seriously??? Not to mention, "uncontrolled bleeding" is simply not something ANY kind of medical professional should have the right to choose not to address! What part of "uncontrolled bleeding" = "life threatening" do these kinds of people not get?

I have not been able to find out if the pharmacist in question was disciplined, fired, or (better yet) had their license revoked, and I'll update if I do. Meanwhile, I suggest contacting your local Walgreens, or the Walgreens HQ and letting them know that you don't accept this kind of life endangering B.S. Here's the info:


Idaho State Board of Pharmacy
3380 Americana Terrace, Suite 320
Boise, ID 83706
Phone (208) 334-2356
FAX (208) 334-3536
...................

Walgreens
1-877-250-5823
200 Wilmot Road
Deerfield, IL 60015
lunadelcorvo: (Drama lama)
There isn't a satirist out there that has a chance of running out of material!

lunadelcorvo: (Ask the devil to behave)
I have decided to see just how bad things are. I took the transcript of Keith Olbermann's Special Comment "If the Tea Party wins, America loses," with its laundry list of the insanity from the Tea Party, and checked it against the election results. Let's see how many of the nutjobs he mentions won their races, shall we? I bolded those who won, italicized those who did not. If the race has not been called, it's underlined with the percent up or down in parens. Remember, as you read, the people whose names are in bold are now numbered among our nation's lawmakers. I warn you, it's not a pretty picture....

The list portion is under a cut, for those who want to preserve their belief that America makes any kind of sense at all. (And because it's long, but mostly the former) )

Olbermann closed by saying, among other things: "You are willing to let these people run this country? This is the America you want? This is the America you are willing to permit? These are the kinds of cranks, menaces, mercenaries and authoritarians you will turn this country over to?"

The answer is apparently yes. Not all the loonies made it, true. Some of the most bizarre were weeded out, true. But a lot got it. A whole lot. Over the next two years, we MUST fight to take it back, to discredit the insane Tea Party, to push these lawmakers to reveal their flaws, show their agendas. And in two years, we have to make it right. The democratic congress blew it in the last two years. And we blew it this fall. We have two years to get our shit together and make damned sure we don't blow it again.
lunadelcorvo: (Ask the devil to behave)
It seems we have a Republican house, and are damn close to having a Republican Senate, or at least a Senate with no clear majority. This is no real surprise, although it is a bit of a disappointment. However unrealistic, I had rather hoped for a surge of 'not gonna let it happen' from the Left. (Rand Paul? Really!? You thought this was a good idea? SRSLY!?!)

So now what? If the GOP is as uncooperative as they have promised they will be, I suppose this will be a few years in which there will be a terrific noise and bluster, and little real action. There is of course, talk of impeachment, but I hope I am not optimistic to say I think that threat has no real weight behind it. Clearly, the White House will be able to get nothing done, which is to say that it will accomplish even less than it has so far, which isn't saying much.

All in all, I'd rather have a mid-term shift than a term-end sweep. At this point, I guess the best possible thing is to hope that the Tea Party Right make such collective asses of themselves that even the mouth-breathing, slack-jawed, knuckle-dragging electorate in this country will have no choice but to show them the door for a good long time.

I just wonder what this place will look like by the time people figure out they've been had?
lunadelcorvo: (Foucault discourse)
Get out and vote! Many people fought hard for you to have the right to vote. Of course, you can choose not to exercise that right. But today - this is a day that could change so many things, for better or worse. I know many of the Democratic candidates are disappointing. Trust me, we have some duds here, too. But look long and hard at the alternatives before choosing not to vote, or to vote third party. If your Republican candidates are anything like mine, or many of the ones we've seen in recent weeks, is this *really* the election you want to walk away from? Do we want Christine O'Donnell and Rand Paul and others like them plotting the course of our futures, even for a few years?

Please, vote today.
lunadelcorvo: (Default)
Does This Dirt Field Look Muslim to You?



The Flight 93 memorial in Shanksville, Pa., supposedly honors the brave folks who sacrificed themselves during an in-flight power struggle on 9/11. So why does its design include a huge Muslim crescent pointing at Mecca?.

A group led by the father of a Flight 93 victim will be running full-page ads this Friday and Saturday in a Shanksville-area newspaper, criticizing the perceived Islamic symbol it sees in the memorial's Field of Honor — the dirt circle in the top picture that resembles a topographical map.

At the center of the dispute is the Field of Honor, a circular, tree-lined landmass that will serve as the heart of the memorial, as well as a 93-foot Tower of Voices that will contain 40 wind chimes, one for each victim of the crash. Forty groves of red and sugar maple trees also will commemorate the victims, and ponds will be installed to serve as a natural barrier to the nearby Sacred Ground, the final resting place for the passengers and crew of Flight 93.

This design "controversy" was raised five years ago, has popped up occasionally ever since, and is finding new life during the 2010 War on Mosques. A few seconds of googling takes us to a 2005 Michelle Malkin post with an informative animated .gif, for those of you who cannot see the evil Muslim symbol within this secret terrorist beachhead.

Although the National Park Service changed the title of the ring surrounding the Field of Honor from the Crescent of Embrace to the Circle of Embrace and moved some trees and stuff around, just to be polite, critics aren't satisfied with this obvious 9/11 Victory Crescent:

"A more obvious tribute to the terrorists is hard to imagine," reads the ad, which will be published in the Somerset Daily American and was provided in advance to FoxNews.com. "It is not surprising, then, that the giant crescent would turn out to point to Mecca*, and be the centerpiece for the world's largest mosque."

(Text from article here: http://gawker.com/5633032/does-this-dirt-field-look-muslim-to-you, thanks to a posting in[livejournal.com profile] atheism.)

*Incidentally, the monument is oriented along the path of the downed flight. So I guess that means the American heroes were trying to go to Mecca!!!! *facepalm*
lunadelcorvo: (Grrrrr!)
[Error: unknown template qotd]No, I certainly don't. The entire celebrity machine (be it entertainment, sports, or music) is inane and vacuous, and strikes me as merely a lot of distraction to prevent people from realizing just how f*&^%ed up their world really is.

We are struggling with economic meltdown, mass unemployment, alarming numbers of people dying annually of imminently curable conditions merely because they can't afford basic healthcare, global hunger, poverty, corporate exploitation, and a humanity-threatening climate crisis. And we are paying movie stars and football players millions? I mean, seriously?!?!?!?!

And yet those who protect our streets, save our lives in times of calamity, and teach our children often don't make enough to live on, let alone raise their own families. Sometimes, the dumb is so overwhelming, that I mourn in advance for the fate of my species....
lunadelcorvo: (Wall of Separation)
"At best, a throwback to primitivism -- at worst, unconstitutional political posturing and manipulation..."

An Atheist public policy group denounced Sunday's "Day of Prayer" by Southern governors as a political stunt which is exploiting an environmental tragedy in order to win votes and promote religion and as, incidentally, a clear violation of Christian biblical principles.

"At best, this is a bronze age response to disaster," declared Dr. Ed Buckner, President of American Atheists. "This is just another example of how some political leaders use religion to win votes, garner public sympathy, and lead people to believe that superstition trumps the need for good planning and responsible public policy. These governors are plainly hypocrites as defined, allegedly in words from Jesus, in Matthew 6:5-6."

The Governors of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, along with the lieutenant Governor of Florida, all issued proclamations declaring Sunday, June 27, 2010, a Day of Prayer and urged citizens to engage in religious ritual in hopes of finding a solution to the growing oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

"This is about as deep as you can get when it comes to promoting irrationality and faith-based superstition," added Dr. Buckner. "We have another example of public officials telling citizens when and how to pray, whether to pray, and what to pray for."

Dave Silverman, Vice President and Communications Director for American Atheists, said that prayer is never a suitable substitute for sound public policy, environmental safeguards, and sensible planning for catastrophic emergencies.

"I doubt that Jesus or some angel is suddenly going to descend from the sky with millions of feet of boom, or more barges to suck up the leaking oil," said Mr. Silverman. "If prayer really worked, why is it that so far, anyway, God seems to be ignoring the suffering all along the gulf?"

Dr. Buckner added, "Perhaps the politicians need to get up off their knees and spend more time mobilizing the resources to deal with this catastrophe. That should not include offering false hope or ridiculous suggestions for the people being affected by this event.”

Personally, while I certainly am in complete agreement with this denunciation of a backward and utterly unconstitutional thing, I am even more concerned and disgusted that it's even necessary. Honestly, these days, I find myself wondering with increasing trepidation, how the extremism building in the US can possibly be reconciled without massive violence, or at the very least, massive upheaval. It's not a pretty thought, but with the right/religious right so far over the sanity line, and the very real threats to our environment, our food supply, our health, our society- I just can't see it ending well.
AMERICAN ATHEISTS is a nationwide movement that defends civil rights for Atheists, Freethinkers and other nonbelievers; works for the total separation of church and state; and addresses issues of First Amendment public policy.

AMERICAN ATHEISTS, INC.
http://www.atheists.org
http://www.americanatheist.org

American Atheists, Inc. PO BOX 158, Cranford, NJ 07016
Tel.: (908) 276-7300 Fax: (908) 276-7402

For more information, please contact:
Ed Buckner, President 908-499-9200 (cell) or 770-803-5353 (office/fax)
Dave Silverman, Communications Director 732-648-9333
lunadelcorvo: (Oh puh-lease!)
This isn't exactly new, but it's worth noting:http://www.kentucky.com/2008/11/28/608229/anti-terror-law-requires-god-be.html
The 2006 law organizing the state Office of Homeland Security lists its initial duty as "stressing the dependence on Almighty God as being vital to the security of the Commonwealth."

Specifically, Homeland Security is ordered to publicize God's benevolent protection in its reports, and it must post a plaque at the entrance to the state Emergency Operations Center with an 88-word statement that begins, "The safety and security of the Commonwealth cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon Almighty God."

State Rep. Tom Riner, a Southern Baptist minister, tucked the God provision into Homeland Security legislation as a floor amendment that lawmakers overwhelmingly approved two years ago. As amended, Homeland Security's religious duties now come before all else, including its distribution of millions of dollars in federal grants and its analysis of possible threats.

The time and energy spent crediting God are appropriate, said Riner, D-Louisville, in an interview this week. "This is recognition that government alone cannot guarantee the perfect safety of the people of Kentucky," Riner said. "Government itself, apart from God, cannot close the security gap. The job is too big for government."
There is one (only one!!!!!!) group, American Atheists, that filed suit to challenge the constitutionality of the law. The suit faced tremendous criticism because they were seeking monetary redress for 'damages.' However, apparently they had no choice. According to a ruling of the US Supreme Court, citizens cannot sue the government for church/state separation issues without damages. SO the very thing which is drawing the most flack with regard to this lawsuit is necessary in order for it to even have legal standing. (I'd love to know how was behind that ruling, because it certainly seems to hamper legitimate constitutional challenges.)

However, there was a veritable pantheon of the Lunatic Right Fringe's most luminary arrayed on the other side, including defrocked Alabama Chief Supreme Court Justice Judge Roy Moore, president of the Foundation for Moral Law in Montgomery, Ala. Moore was kicked out of office as Attorney General for refusing to abide by a court ruling ordering the removal of the 10 commandments monument he installed on the Alabama State Court House rotunda in the dead of night.

Moore is also one of 35 attorneys defending Kentucky's God Defense law. His foundation just happened to be the hosts of the 2010 Alabama Secession Day Commemoration, which featured speakers such those from the "League of the South, a neo-Confederate hate group that considers slavery 'God-ordained' and advocates for 'the cultural dominance of the Anglo-Celtic people and their institutions.'" (Quote from Ed Hensley, of American Atheists). Hensley also notes that while the Foundation for Moral Law denies sponsoring the event, they did end up raking in all the proceeds.

So. the suit prevailed, and is currently under appeal by the state of Kentucky. Apparently, the state government, far from being relieved of the burden of such an inane law, actually will go to great lengths (to say nothing of great expense, footed by the taxpayers), to restore it! Ironically, those same taxpayers will froth at the mouth because government isn't spending enough on creating jobs for them, and is constantly raging about taxes being too high. I wonder if they know how much is spent on stuff like this?

And, we learn that those who wish to challenge the constitutionality of a blatant violation of separation of church and state are not only forced to appear as money-grubbing ambulance chasers for being required to seek damages, they must then run a gauntlet of barely legitimate Religious Right loonies, funded by secessionists and white supremacists. Yay.
lunadelcorvo: (Civil liberties)
[Error: unknown template qotd]Mostly, I don't. And while I'm on the subject, I love a margarita as much as anyone and more than some, but I do find the whole "Cinco de Mayo thing here in the US to be quite tacky. As if one in 100 of the loons who will get boozed up on tequila today have a clue what it's about, or care. It's a lot like St. Patrick's day, equally grotesque and equally irritating.

Vis a vis US independence? Rather than celebrating it, I often find myself wishing someone would revoke it. It's not like we've done a good job with the responsibility, after all. I think my country needs to be grounded, have its car keys taken away, the cable TV disconnected, and be sent to its room without supper. I just hope one day, I don't end up feeling I need to win my independence from it!
lunadelcorvo: (Medieval Facepalm)
Well, you may get the chance! Seems there is at least some folks who think a new Crusade to liberate the Levant from the Infidels is a dandy idea!

Read it here: http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2010/04/19/imagine-the-loss-of-the-christian-holy-places/comment-page-1/#comment-12488, though I will give you a sample:
"Later it hit me: What if the mad leader of Iran fulfilled his pledge to wipe Israel from the map with the Iranian nuclear weapon, coming soon? What would we Christians do without the Mount of the Sermon?

Without Capernaum? Without Nazareth? Without Cana?

Without the lovely and mystical city of Jerusalem–without Golgotha, and the Mount of Olives, the Garden of Gethsemane, and the Tomb?

Back in the 1940’s, when Reinhold Niebuhr started Christianity in Crisis to support the war against Nazism, he abandoned his earlier pacifism, and his earlier too-simply pious way of wishing evil away, and called for a new tough-minded Christian realism.

He rooted this realism in the writings of St. Augustine....We do not have much time to wait before getting that argument going. We must get it done soon, in order to be able to act in time.

What is at stake is whether any future Christians will be able to sit and pray where Our Lord Jesus once preached the unforgettable Sermon. And much else besides.
Compare his words to that of Pope Urban II's call to the first Crusade, here: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/urban2-5vers.html. Here's a highlight:
"From the confines of Jerusalem and the city of Constantinople a horrible tale has gone forth and very frequently has been brought to our ears, namely, that a race from the kingdom of the Persians, an accursed race, a race utterly alienated from God, a generation forsooth which has not directed its heart and has not entrusted its spirit to God, has invaded the lands of those Christians and has depopulated them by the sword...it has either entirely destroyed the churches of God or appropriated them for the rites of its own religion...Let the holy sepulchre of the Lord our Saviour, which is possessed by unclean nations, especially incite you, and the holy places which are now treated with ignominy and irreverently polluted with their filthiness.

On whom therefore is the labor of avenging these wrongs and of recovering this territory incumbent, if not upon you? You, upon whom above other nations God has conferred remarkable glory in arms, great courage, bodily activity, and strength to humble the hairy scalp of those who resist you."
So, lovely! Seems what we really need, folks, is a new Crusade to the Holy Land! Admittedly (and I am happy to report it), the comments on Novak's essay seem to show most of the readers think he's as nuts as I do. But still, nut-cases tend to be like cockroaches; for every one you see, there's probably a hundred you don't.... And while this sentiment is nothing new among the more extremely evangelical circles, this goon may be the first to all but plagiarize Pope Urban II.....
lunadelcorvo: (Atheist Scarlet Letter A)
The 'establishment of religion' clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect 'a wall of separation' between Church and State.

- Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, February 10, 1947
Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947)
lunadelcorvo: (Medieval Facepalm)
The Blame Game:

The range of excuses offered up by various ecclesiastics for the child abuse scandal is amazing. Admittedly, these come from disparate entities, and don't [seem to] represent a unified position on the part of the Vatican. Still, we've been talking about this for a while now, and you'd think by this point they'd have their talking points laid out. Further, even if these statements are not official, I don't see any of them being condemned as wrong. Official statements distance themselves from them, yes, but I have yet to see anyone say 'No, that is not consistent with Church doctrine.' And in fact, none of them are inconsistent with Church doctrine, which, as I see it, is a big part of the problem to begin with....

Satan Behind Media Attacks on the Pope, Asserts Italian Exorcist

Vatican Attacked Over Cardinal's Claim of Homosexuality and Pedophilia Link

Bishop Blames Jews for Child Molestation Scandal

"Media Bias and Catholic Bashing" by Bill Donohue, President, Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights

At Vatican Service, Priest Likens Abuse Allegations To Anti-Semitism

Vatican Cardinals Claim Sex Abuse Claims Have Been Orchestrated by Enemies of the Pope

Stuff Catholics Have So Far Blamed for the Church's Pedophilia Scandal

Social Justice?

US Catholic officials are fighting AGAINST extensions to the statute of limitations on reporting of sex abuse, under claims ranging from the bills being 'designed to bankrupt the Church' to a trend of 'anti-Catholic sentiment, even when those bills do not target (or even mention) the Catholic Church. This is being reported even by Catholic news organizations.

Beltway Cardinals Oppose Abuse Extension Bills, Many Cite Nationwide Anti-Catholic Trend

Connecticut Bishops Fight Sex Abuse Bill

Religious Leaders Battle Abuse Bill in New York

[Wisconsin] State Bishops Oppose Legislation to Repeal Statute of Limitations [on Child Abuse]

(Crazy Vatican makes medieval monk [see userpic] cry.)
lunadelcorvo: (Oh puh-lease!)
Quote from an article on Religion Dispatches about gun-toting tea-party goers:
The Constitution Party is frequently dismissed as a fringe party of little electoral consequence, even though its significance lies elsewhere. It is in fact a steaming hotbed of far-right factions with theocratic, vigilante, and sometimes revolutionary ideas whose like-minded members get together to make their plans, just like any other organized faction in American public life. The party says it is 100% pro-life and pro-gun. (emphasis is mine)
Now, let's just think about that for a moment. Even in a movement which can accept claims like those of the tea party, the biblical literalists, and the Tim LaHayes of the world, this statement seems to require a level of doublethink even George Orwell could not help but be impressed by. And terrified....

(Here's the story, and it's a damned disturbing one at that, I might add: "[I] Pray For Barack Obama To Die And Go To Hell”: The Story The Media Missed)

And, please, can someone explain to me how "Democracy" means "If we can't have things our way, we'll take over with guns and make everyone live our way?" Plzkthnx....
lunadelcorvo: (Default)
The entire Catholic Church sex business is altogether revolting from the word go, but it has taken on a new level of WTF. The idea that criticism of the pope, and the RCC as an institution is bigotry, because it collectivizes guilt. Well, I have two rather significant problems with that statement.

One, to be honest is related to the source. Do you mean to tell me that Donahue is going to stand up and cry foul when an institution is criticized because of what some of its members have done, and for some of its policies? Really? To that I say: Planned Parenthood. N.O.W. How about the Catholic social services that have closed their doors when told they had to employ fair hiring practices, or had to serve clients of all faiths and orientation? How many institutions or organizations have been blacklisted, lambasted, vilified and their associates branded collaborators by not only Donahue, but the other voices croaking out this same spiel? Sucks being painted with a big fat brush, doesn't it, you bigoted prick? The irony here goes so far beyond irony as to need a bigger vocabulary.

But more seriously, there is a disambiguation going on here between a body of Catholics worldwide and the institution of the Church. The difference is subtle, but vital. For one thing, to discuss the guilt of the Church is not the same thing as collectivizing 'guilt' with regard to a minority group. Saying all black people, or all Jews, or all gays, are guilty of X because some of that group did X - that IS collectivization of guilt. However, saying that a self-organized, institutional entity is guilty of thing X, which it did/sanctioned/contributed to is not. The institution is not its members. Which is why, when the media criticizes the RCC, is is not "Catholic bashing."

Furthermore, it isn't even 'priest-bashing,' any more than for example, media criticism of a police force for not taking action against corruption on a police force is 'cop-bashing.' If a department has a rash of cops going bad, it does serious damage to the image of the department as a whole. Police departments know this, and take swift, decisive, public action to remove those who abused their power from further access to that power. Why?

Because beyond the individual crimes (which themselves are worth appropriate sanction, regardless of who commits them - blind Justice, remember?) there stands a symbol, and the impact those crimes have upon it. If a uniform and a badge are to stand as symbols of trust, safety, respect, and protection, then abusers of that symbol MUST be swiftly dealt with. If any police officer is to be trusted, the symbol must be reclaimed.

Until the guilty are removed, we may know full well that not every police officer is a craven abuser, but we are simultaneously painfully aware that any officer *could* be. Who wants to play Russian roulette? This is the criticism of the Church, and it is entirely fair and deserved.

Until the Church, as an institution, acts swiftly, decisively, and publicly to remove those who abused their power from further access to that power, it matters not that we know not every priest is an abuser. We also know that any priest *could* be. We know this because we know abusers still wear the collar. It's not about Catholics, or even priests. It's about the symbol.

The attempt to muddy the waters by crying discrimination, bigotry and Catholic-bashing are just that - misdirection. And incidentally, if there was EVER an institution that should have its ass kicked around the Vatican walls for having the nuts to squeal "collectivization of guilt...' well you know. And don't even get me started on that Easter sermon "concentration camp" crap....
lunadelcorvo: (Grrrrr!)
Nebraska lawmakers on Monday gave final approval to a first-of-its-kind measure requiring women to be screened for possible mental and physical problems before having abortions.

The measure is unusual, however, in spelling out what factors doctors must consider when doing the screenings. [Greg] Schleppenbach [of the National Catholic Conference] said that’s because doctors otherwise would turn to other abortion providers to set the standards for the medical community.

The bill requires a doctor or other health professional to screen women to determine whether they were pressured into having abortions. The screenings also would assess whether women have risk factors that could lead to mental or physical problems after an abortion.

http://www.religiondispatches.org/blog/religiousright/2458/you’re_crazy_

Read the article. I can't really comment coherently on this, as I am too stunned. I mean, this passed? This is a law now? What year is this again?
lunadelcorvo: (I meditate and I still want to choke...)
I am going to assume many of you have seen or heard of this: the Harris poll showing that outrageous numbers of people believe outrageous things about President Obama.

Now there is a lot of hoopla in the media about the poll being unreliable, the data being skewed, etc. I am not a statistician, so I can't evaluate these claims too well. I will say, in all fairness, that there seem to be some reasonable questions being asked as to how accurately the sample can be extrapolated out to represent the entire population, and some equally reasonable explanations in defense of the poll's methodology.

However, none of the issues the poll raised are exactly virgin territory. All of these things have been present in the national political and social dialog before now. So, we could fart around quibbling over whether the reported 32% of all Americans think Obama is a Muslim is really 30%, or 25%, or 40%. However, the fact remains that whatever the exact percent may be, it is a staggeringly huge number.

Look at it this way. The population of the US is just under 310 million, of which a bit over 3/4 is adult. So that leaves us with about 233 million adults. If the percentage of adults who think Obama is a Muslim is even 20%, far lower than the Harris poll suggests, that still means nearly 47 million people think this. It's one out of five adults in the US. It's larger than the entire population of Spain. Think about that. For comparison's sake, the largest stadium in the Western Hemisphere is Beaver Stadium, which seats 107 thousand. You would have to fill that stadium 434 times to equal even the lowball estimate of the number of people who really think Barack Obama is a Muslim.

The percent of 'birthers,' those who believe that Obama is not a US citizen and not eligible to be president, listed by the Harris poll is 25%, which, if accurate, represents 58 million people, nearly the population of Italy, and enough to fill Beaver Stadium 544 times.

So think of the largest sporting event or concert you have ever been to. On average, it was probably about half the size of Beaver stadium, roughly 53,000. So multiply the biggest event you have ever been to by about 1,000, and that's how many people (remember we are low-balling here) think our President is not legally our President.

Multiply that event by about 800 times and that's how many people think that our President is a domestic enemy who should be removed by violence, about 18% (a substantially smaller number than reported by the Harris poll). About that same number think our President is the anti-Christ.

Rather than quibbling about the accuracy of the Harris poll, shouldn't we be focusing on the fact that terrifyingly large numbers of people believe these things? Shouldn't we be worrying about the future, not only our own, but that of our government, our peace and stability, our safety? Shouldn't we be focusing on what to DO about these numbers, rather than getting into pissing contests over whether the number of people who think our elected leader is a domestic enemy is 25% or only 15%? Seems to me, either number is way too many. Let's keep our eye on the ball people, shall we?
lunadelcorvo: (Wall of Separation)
OK. So a Buddhist Temple here was vandalized, with specifically Christian messages spray painted on the temple and signage, and statues defaced. This is the second time this has happened this year. (Story here and here)

In the comments on both of those stories, one can find statements like "It's not fair to assume the people who did this were Christian." and similar sentiments. Now look, I'm not saying this one act can be laid at the feet of all Christians everywhere. That's a basic fallacy of composition. However, I think it is absolutely fair to assume that it was done by a Christian, with an agenda of intimidation. The messages read "Buddah is in hell" not "Gooks go home." That would certainly seem to indicate that the motive isn't racist, it's not anti-immigrant, it's not an outburst of stress brought on by tough competition for jobs in hard times.

The temple was covered in crosses and sayings like "Christ lives." The motive is religious. Pure and simple. It is one more example of the mindset that this is a Christian country, and 'pagans,' like athiests, are not welcome here in the 'land-of-the-free-to-be-Christian.' However, the more serious problem lies in the immediate leap to defend the obvious religious motivation here.

When we then engage in dialog not about why religiously motivated hate crimes occur and are allowed (even sanctioned, though there has been no sanction, but also no condemnation from area churches in this case), but in attempting to diffuse the issue we ourselves facilitate those very crimes. Regardless of how one chooses to construe the Harris Poll's findings, I think it is quite clear that the rhetoric of violence, rebellion and insurrection in the name of Christianity is on an alarming rise. The 'Tea Party' movement has been proclaimed the 'new face of American democracy,' after all, and Palin is flogging the 'new revolution.'

And that makes this one act of violence significant. it makes every act of violence on religious (or political) grounds significant. We cannot keep excusing this. We cannot keep defending it, or dismissing it as a "few extreme individuals." Let's call a spade a spade, and let's get over our hesitation to call BULLSHIT when apologists try to de-emphasize the role of religion in hate crime.
lunadelcorvo: (W T F? Kitten)
http://reformed-theology.org/html/books/slavery/southern_slavery_as_it_was.htm

This is a Christian Slavery Apologetic. No, really. This article is a diatribe about how slavery in the south wasn't all bad, only the parts that were not in conformity with 'biblical slavery,' and 'biblical slavery' is OK, and fine and good because the Bible says so.

I quote:
"Provided he owns them in conformity to Christ's laws for such situations, the Bible is clear that Christians may own slaves."
And
"Today if an abortionist sought membership at either of our churches, he would be refused unless he repented and abandoned his murderous practice. But if our churches had existed in the ante bellum South, and a godly slave owner sought membership, we could not refuse him without seeking to be holier than Christ. Such a desire would be wicked, and this wickedness was at the heart of the abolitionist dogma."
This nutjob claims that Southern slave owners vigorously opposed the slave trade as 'wicked,' but evinced no hypocrisy by owning slaves. After all, they were doing the poor slaves a favor by taking them into Christian homes...
"The slave trade was an abomination. The Bible condemns it, and all who believe the Bible are bound to do the same. Owning slaves is not an abomination. The Bible does not condemn it, and those who believe the Bible are bound to refrain in the same way. But if we were to look in history for Christians who reflected this biblical balance — i.e. a hatred of the slave trade and an acceptance of slavery in itself under certain conditions — we will find ourselves looking at the ante bellum South."
I mean, wow. Seriously?

Read the article - I can't begin to relate how mind-boggling it is. The level of mental contortion required to actually advance such a position is... well, it's bloody insane.
lunadelcorvo: (W T F? Kitten)
I am not even sure what I can say to introduce this article, as I think the title pretty much sums it up: "We Need to End Non-Consensual Pelvic Exams"

Seriously, how the hell does anyone, anyone at all, not know, right away, without having to stop and consider it, that this is wrong, wrong, wrong? I mean... what the... how... Words fail.

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] virginia_fell for posting this first!
lunadelcorvo: (Can you be that stupid?)
....is you keep demanding that you get screwed and then, not surprisingly, you keep getting screwed.

(Reposted from Slacktivist. This is his work, not mine. But it's important, so I'm reposting, with full credit.)

Hey you. You there in the Glenn Beck T-shirt headed off to the Tea Party Patriot rally.

Stop shouting for a moment, please, I want to explain to you why you're so very angry.

You should be angry. You're getting screwed.

I think you know that. But you don't seem to know that it doesn't have to be that way. You can stop it. You can stop it easily because the system that's screwing you over can only keep screwing you over if you keep demanding that it do so.

So stop demanding that. Stop helping the system screw you over.

Look, you can go back to yelling at me in a minute, but just read this first.

1. Get out your pay stub.

Or, if you have direct deposit -- you really should get direct deposit, it saves a lot of time and money (I point this out because, honestly, I'm trying to help you here, even though you don't make that easy, Mr. Angry Screamy Guy) -- then take out that little paper receipt they give you when your pay gets directly deposited.

2. Notice that your net pay is lower than your gross pay. This is because some of your wages are withheld every pay period.

3. Notice that only some of this money that was withheld went to pay taxes. (I know, I know -- yeearrrgh! me hates taxes! -- but just try to stick with me for just a second here.)

4. Notice that some of the money that was withheld didn't go to taxes, but to your health insurance company.

5. Now go get a pay stub from last year around this time, from January of 2009.

6. Notice that the amount of your pay withheld for taxes in your current paycheck is less than the amount that was withheld a year ago.

That's because of President Barack Obama's economic stimulus plan, which included more than $200 billion in tax cuts, including the one you're holding right there in your hand, the tax cut that's now staring you in the face. Republicans all voted against that tax cut. And then they told you to get angry about the stimulus plan. They didn't explain, however, why you were supposed to get angry about getting a tax cut. Why would you be? Wouldn't it make more sense to get angry at the people who voted against that Obama tax cut?

But taxes aren't the really important thing here. The really important thing starts with the next point.

7. Notice that the amount of your pay withheld to pay for your health insurance is more than it was last year.

8. Notice that the amount of your pay withheld to pay for your health insurance is a lot more than it was last year.

I won't ask you to dig up old paychecks from 2008 and 2007, but this has been going on for a long time. Every year, the amount of your paycheck withheld to pay for your health insurance goes up. A lot.

9. Notice the one figure there on your two pay stubs that hasn't changed: Your wage. The raise you didn't get this year went to pay for that big increase in the cost of your health insurance.

10. Here's where I need you to start doing a better job of putting two and two together. If you didn't get a raise last year because the cost of your health insurance went up by a lot, and the cost of your health insurance is going to go up by a lot again this year, what do you think that means for any chance you might have of getting a raise this year?

11. Did you figure it out? That's right. The increasing cost of health insurance means you won't get a raise this year. Or next year. Or the year after that. The increasing cost of health insurance means you will never get a raise again.

That's what I meant when I said you really should be angry. That's what I meant when I said you're getting screwed.

OK, we're almost done. Just a few more points, I promise.

12. The only hope you have of ever seeing another pay raise is if Congress passes health care reform. Without health care reform, the increasing cost of your health insurance will swallow this year's raise. And next year's raise. And pretty soon it won't stop with just your raise. Without health care reform, the increasing cost of your health insurance will start making your pay go down.

13. I wish I could tell you that this was just a worst-case scenario, that this was only something that might, maybe happen, but that wouldn't be true. Without health care reform, this is what will happen. We know this because this is what is happening now. It has been happening for the past 10 years. In 2008, employers spent on average 25 percent more per employee than they did in 2001, but wages on average did not increase during those years. The price of milk went up. The price of gas went up. But wages did not. All of the money that would have gone to higher wages went to pay the higher and higher and higher cost of health insurance. And unless Congress passes health care reform, that will not change.

Well, it will change in the sense that it will keep getting worse, but it won't get better. Unless the problem gets fixed, the problem won't be fixed. That's kind of what "problem" and "fixed" mean.

14. Sadly for any chance you have of ever seeing a raise again, it looks like Congress may not pass health care reform. It looks like they won't do that because they're scared of angry voters who are demanding that they oppose health care reform, angry voters who demand that Congress not do anything that would keep the cost of health insurance from going up and up and up. Angry voters like you.

15. Do you see the point here? You are angrily, loudly demanding that Congress make sure that you never, ever get another pay raise as long as you live. Because of you and because of your angry demands, you and your family and your kids are going to have to get by with less this year than last year. And next year you're going to have to get by with even less. And if you keep angrily demanding that no one must ever fix this problem, then you're going to have to figure out how to get by on less and less every year for the rest of your life.

16. So please, for your own sake, for your family's sake and the sake of your children, stop. Stop demanding that problems not get fixed. Stop demanding that you keep getting screwed. Stay angry -- you should be angry -- but start directing that anger toward the system that's screwing you over and taking money out of your pocket. Start directing that anger toward fixing problems instead of toward making sure they never get fixed. Instead of demanding that Congress oppose health care reform so that you never, ever, get another pay raise, start demanding that they pass health care reform, as soon as possible. Because until they do, you're just going to keep on getting screwed.

And it's going to be that much worse knowing that you brought this on yourself -- that you demanded it.

Thanks for your time.

P.S. -- I didn't mention this because I'm trying here to be as patient with you as I can, but you might also want to keep in mind that in addition to screwing over yourself and screwing over your family and screwing over your own children by demanding that Congress oppose health care reform so that you will never, ever see another pay raise, by doing that you're also demanding that I never, ever see another pay raise, which means that you're also screwing over me, and my family, and my children. Not to mention the millions of poor and uninsured and uninsureable people I didn't even mention above because they don't seem to matter at all to you. And for that, let me just say the only appropriate thing that can be said to someone so determined to do direct, tangible harm to the welfare of my family: Fuck you, you fucking moron.

(Reposted from Slacktivist. This is his work, not mine.)
lunadelcorvo: (Ask the devil to behave)
[Error: unknown template qotd]Hell, yes. I can relate on a very casual, or very formal level (like co-workers, in-laws, etc.) with pro-Lifers, Right-wingers, and religio-conservatives when I have no choice. But I simply cannot maintain any kind of serious dialog with someone who is so fundamentally opposed to everything I hold to be the highest goods and most cherished human rights and responsibilities, and things which are blatantly evident to even the most basic of honest rationalism and critical thought.

I acknowledge that I am something of an elitist (which may, in itself, be an understatement, things at which I lately feel I excel), but I find I cannot hold these people in anything but contempt. If you think global warming denial (like holocaust denial, and the 'reclaiming of Senator McCarthy) should be taught in schools, you are an idiot and I want no further discussion with you. If you truly believe the universe revolves around the earth, and that early man put saddles on dinosaurs, you are a moron who has no business holding adult responsibilities, because you are clearly very far out of touch with reality. And if you think Obama is the antichrist, that it's perfectly OK for politicians to operate in secret, ostensibly Christian cabals, and the big business is honest and fair, kindly hand over your voter's registration card, your car keys, any college degrees you may, inexplicably, have acquired, and most of all your sense of righteous indignation, because you have not earned the right to use any of them.

Am I another shade of bigot for thinking people who voluntarily choose to suspend their intellect and instead worship unreason, illogic, and chicanery have no right to participate in the business of being a responsible citizen? Perhaps. But treating these people with kid-gloves and that most offensive of all tropes, 'toleration,' has gotten us where we are today, which is pretty much royally screwed in terms of things like health & healthcare, education, religious freedom, equal rights, environmental conditions, sustainable energy and all those frivolous things us liberals care so much about. I know this is a rather non-P.C. position. Fine. Polar bears will be extinct in my son's lifetime, thousands die annually in the richest nation on the globe for lack of affordable insurance or health care, and rights for women and gays are only slightly improved over the stone age. P.C. isn't working. F*&k P.C.
lunadelcorvo: (W T F? Kitten)
Insurers Required to pay for Prayer treatments

Insurers required to pay for.... for... PRAYER TREATMENT?!?!?!?!?!

*fzzt! pop! bzzzzzp!*

That was my brain breaking. For the second time in a week, albeit for radically different reasons...

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] doctoreon for pointing this out.
lunadelcorvo: (Default)
I have known Blackwater (Oh, sorry, "XE," and I have no doubt there is some sooper seekrit Dominionist meaning behind that) was trouble for a looooong time. Now that they are getting outed as theocratic lunatics by their own members, I feel vindicated, if saddened. There are times, after all, when one desperately wants to be proven wrong!

It's not the case here, however. XE/Blackwater is proving to be every bit as connected to the domininist/theocratic movement as I have always thought them to be. Given the size and power of the group, and their very nature as a mercenary military, I find this deeply worrying. After all, we have seen how the money and influence runs a la C-street and its denizens, and it is alarmingly on the side of militaristic theocracy and reconstructionism. So clearly the Right is well funded. Now it seems there exists an entire army, as well or better equipped and trained as our own, already in ideological harmony with this dominionist tide. The possibilities are mind boggling.

I know we (myself included) want to say 'It could never happen, the constitution, democracy,' and so on. And I will personally craft and wear tinfoil my whole life long if it proves there is nothing to any of this. But yowza, if there is? Scary shit, folks, scary shit indeed.

(Geek moment: And to discover that they are actually using crusade references, invoking the Knights of Malta, the Templars? Insult to injury! And really, no matter how much our understanding of the crusades has changed, still not exactly a sterling recc.)

::EDIT:: Come to think of it, a bunch of end-times, rapture-ready, 'gotta rebuild the Temple' lunatics running around the Middle East fancying themselves Templars may be more than a geek moment; it might be the scariest aspect of all of it......
lunadelcorvo: (Zuko frustrated)
That was the sound of my head exploding. "Hitler gave good speeches, too?!?" Obama with a Hitler 'stache!?!? WTF? Are you fucking serious?!?

This health care nonsense has gotten to insane extremes. As the clip below notes, associating our president and the congress with Hitler and the Nazi regime goes beyond the pale. It is dangerous, as it is a blatant and clarion clear invitation to violence, just as the rhetoric connecting abortion providers to nazis provided, to those extreme enough to heed it, a sanction to violence, even murder. But it is also a travesty to the memory of those who truly were the victims of the Nazis, both civilian and military.

Rachel Maddow: Maddow: 'Nazism is not a metaphor'

(Click HERE if the embed fails.)

Rachel Maddow: 'Time to bring facts to the health care debate'

(Click HERE if the embed fails.)

I spent nearly an hour on the phone with a relative who called to 'warn' me of the 'true' content of the health care reform plan. She believes the euthanasia scare. She believes that senior citizens will be forced to die. WTF? How insane has this country gone when this kind of outrageous crap is bought, wholesale, swallowed hook, line and sinker? When lunatic fringe elements and panicked big business put out ideas that don't even *sound* reasonable, and people believe them? When they rise up in the thousands to fight against the phantoms of the paranoid?

HAS THIS ENTIRE FUCKING NATION LOST THE ABILITY TO THINK??????????
lunadelcorvo: (Katara pissed)
I have seen a lot of people getting really concerned by the buzz over Universal Health Care. Much of that buzz however, is generated by big insurance companies, their PR firms and lobbyists. In the interest of public service, therefore, I am offering these two videos to help present what's really going on.

The fact of the matter is, big insurance and their allies WANT you to be terrified of what will happen to you and your loved ones under UHC. Much like the rhetoric of impending doom which followed 9/11, and allowed the Iraq war to be begun without much objection, this stuff is designed to keep people unsure of who to trust, and fearing for their own personal safety. It's cunningly crafted nonsense, however. These clips help to blow the cover off the attempts these billion dollar players are making in a desperate move to keep your money going to them.

Rachel maddow exposes one of many supposedly "grass-roots" organizations which is sending people to disrupt town hall meetings, harass elected officials, and generally give the impression of an outraged citizenry. Sadly, while these folks may be legitimately upset, the things about which they are upset are fabrications.



Also a must-see on this issue: July 10, 2009 - "With almost 20 years inside the health insurance industry, Wendell Potter saw for-profit insurers hijack our health care system and put profits before patients. Now, he speaks with Bill Moyers about how those companies are standing in the way of health care reform."

One of the pertinent sections of this interview shows memos from inside a major insurance company, outlining the PR plan for discrediting the idea of universal health care by any means necessary. However, the overall picture he gives of an utterly corrupt, purely money-driven industry is also quite relevant at present.
lunadelcorvo: (Oceania)
...people thought I was a tin-foil hat-wearing conspiracy loon for suggesting things like this. *sigh* Good days, good days. Clearly, however, those days are OVER.



From the article on www.talktoaction.org:
According to the Washington Post the house is owned by Youth With a Mission D.C. Youth With a Mission is one of the most extensive Christian fundamentalist para-church organizations on Earth, and YWAM founder leader Loren Cunningham has publicly outlined a vision for Christian world-control.

In a 2008 promotional video, "Reclaiming 7 Mountains of Culture", Loren Cunningham describes a vision he shared along with the late Christian theologian Francis Schaeffer, in which Christian fundamentalists could achieve world domination by taking over key sectors of society such as business, government, media, and education.
lunadelcorvo: (W T F? Kitten)
Swim Club Boots Kids Who Might "Change the Complexion"



More than 60 campers from Northeast Philadelphia were turned away from a private swim club and left to wonder if their race was the reason.

Kids at Creative Steps Day Camp were thrilled to go swimming once a week at the Valley Swim Club. (http://www.thevalleyclub.com/) But after only one trip to the private club, they were asked to leave.

"I heard this lady, she was like, 'Uh, what are all these black kids doing here?' She's like, 'I'm scared they might do something to my child,'" said camper Dymire Baylor.

The Creative Steps Day Camp paid more than $1900 to The Valley Swim Club. The Valley Swim Club is a private club that advertises open membership. But the campers' first visit to the pool suggested otherwise.

"When the minority children got in the pool all of the Caucasian children immediately exited the pool," Horace Gibson, parent of a day camp child, wrote in an email. "The pool attendants came and told the black children that they did not allow minorities in the club and needed the children to leave immediately."

The next day the club told the camp director that the camp's membership was being suspended and their money would be refunded. "I said, 'The parents don't want the refund. They want a place for their children to swim,'" camp director Aetha Wright said.

Campers remain unsure why they're no longer welcome. "They just kicked us out. And we were about to go. Had our swim things and everything," said camper Simer Burwell.

The explanation they got was either dishearteningly honest or poorly worded: "There was concern that a lot of kids would change the complexion … and the atmosphere of the club," John Duesler, President of The Valley Swim Club said in a statement.

While the parents await an apology, the camp is scrambling to find a new place for the kids to beat the summer heat.

Source.

Another source.

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] doctoreon and other who posted this. Spread it around, call the Club, write letters, etc.!
lunadelcorvo: (Pro-Choice Mom)
([livejournal.com profile] kickthehobbit posted this, and [livejournal.com profile] doctoreon re-posted it, and now it's my turn.)

If you're not pro-choice, and you are vocal and proud about not being pro-choice (including such lines as, "I don't understand how anyone could be pro-choice"), or if you allow discussion to happen in your journal that contains such gems as accusing George Tiller of being a "baby killer" that performed late-term abortions for fun, or allowing awful, awful trolling comments regarding what sluts and whores any woman that would ever have an abortion is?

I AM GOING TO DEFRIEND YOU.

If you want to foster discussion in your journal, fine.

If you are pro-life, and proud of it, but are respectful of those of us that are pro-choice, that's also fine. I won't defriend over either of those.

But if you're going to let people make ignorant-ass comments in your journal about how all abortions are totally wrong and 'oh my God how dare anyone ever get one', and also that George Tiller (who helped people like this and this) was a murderer, not bothering to step in when they start to attack one another or otherwise don't "foster" discussion so much as blindly attack anyone that comments back to them, citing irrelevant court cases in an attempt to prove that late-term abortion happens for reasons other than the mother's life/health being at risk/the fetus having deformities that are incompatible with life . . . that's not OK.

If you're going to let your journal turn into a pro-life circle jerk, then I'm out of here. Because seriously? Don't you fucking even try to play the, "But I am all for women's rights!" card when you're trying to restrict access to abortion.

I'm sorry to have to be the one to tell you this, but the only moral abortion is not your abortion. ALL ABORTION IS MORAL.

Brought to you by [livejournal.com profile] kickthehobbit.

lunadelcorvo: (Unclear on the Concept)
The one the Obama administration caved and withdrew following grumblings from the religious right? I sure hope they kept a copy handy, because clearly, the report was far from inaccurate.

Today, a gunman opened fire in a Kansas church, murdering abortion provider George Tiller. This is exactly the sort of incident the report was written to highlight, and hopefully, prevent by raising awareness of the risk of these kinds of attacks, and admitting that this is essentially a form of domestic terrorism. Today's events could not have made it any clearer how badly a reassessment of religiously motivated violence is needed.

I sent an e-mail to Barack Obama, quoted below. I will be sending similar messages to my local congressmen as well. I urge you to do the same.
I am deeply upset by today's fatal TERRORIST attack at Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita, Kansas. I am especially concerned because this is exactly the kind of domestic religious terrorism addressed by the recent Homeland Security report, as well as the recent hate crimes legislation. Both of which YOUR administration backed down on, a defeat deeply disappointing then, and truly disturbing now. I hope that this tragedy–certainly proof positive of the need to reevaluate the ways in which we define and address religious violence on our own soil–will spur real, definitive, and proactive legislation on the issue of religious violence here at home.

This is a chance for you, Mr. Obama, to really deliver on the promise of change and hope for ALL Americans, those of faith, and those of no faith, those who oppose abortion and those who fight and risk their lives to defend the right to and availability of choice. I hope you take the opportunity, and prove to this American and many like me, who are tired of religious oppression, that we too have a leader in our president. And I speak here of real religious oppression, not that which is ludicrously claimed by the overwhelming Christian majority. Real religious oppression, the kind that makes freedom from faith a dangerous choice, and threatens every woman's right to control her body and her health.

Religious violence cannot be tolerated, no matter the faith or the nationality of the perpetrators. Those who murder out of Christian conviction MUST be handled in precisely the same manner as those who kill in the name of Allah. Religion MUST cease to be an excuse for those in this nation who seek power over others at any cost. Step up, Mr. Obama; please don't sell out my faith in you as my leader.
lunadelcorvo: (Unclear on the Concept)
I know, I'm a little behind the times on this; what can I say? I don't get to the theater much. This one is worth a review nevertheless. Trust me on this one, I'm not going where you think I am, keep reading.

Now, I've seen plenty of scathing criticism of this film, and not just from the religious right, or even the mildly religious. Atheists, anti-religionists, and liberals have lambasted Maher for this one as well. Essentially, the gripes revolve around two points. One is Maher's selection of the craziest of the crazy and the most extreme of the extreme in order to give an extreme picture of religion. The other complaint is that Maher is overly harsh, condescending, disrespectful and flat-out insulting to the people he interviews.

I'd have to say both of these are dead on. There were time in the first hour or so that even I, being a pretty outspoken and vehement anti-religionist, found myself wincing, thinking "Woah! That was harsh!" or "Yikes! Did he just say that?" And admittedly, he does not spend time talking to moderates; his interviewees are decidedly the oddest apples in the bunch. Both of these make Religulous a bit uncomfortable to watch, though incredibly funny.

That's the thing, though. Getting laughs out of the religious loons is easy sport; were the humor the real intent of this piece, I would have to call it a cheap shot, or rather, a long series of cheap shots. Love or hate Maher himself, one must admit that's not his brand of humor. That's how you know the humor isn't the point. It's the tool.

The humor is a tool, like his rudeness is a tool, like his selection of the kookiest of the kooks is a tool, like his leaving in the snippets of him being kicked out of the Vatican, or off the Mormon Temple lawn, is a tool. The purpose to which these tools are turned is nothing less than the dismantling of religion's Get Out of Jail Free card.

Bill Maher is not poking fun at religion to get a laugh. He is not being rude to religion to get a laugh. He's forcing us to see religion for what it is - delusional, irrational. Our habit of toleration and respect for religion is so ingrained, that it takes a lot to be shaken out of it. Even (perhaps especially) for liberals, who have so long chamioned the rights of the other to be who they are, who have fought for equality of the sexes, acceptance of race, non-discrimination; we more than anyone need to be forcibly shaken out of our tendency to be tolerant, our desire to get along.

For all the humor, Maher is deadly serious, and he's not wrong. It's crucial that we do let go of our tolerance for religion; our survival as a species may depend on it. It's not easy letting go of our toys, and leaving the childhood of humanity behind us, with its invisible friends and fairy tales and happy endings. It's not easy telling ourselves, or each other, that no, Santa's not real, and neither is God, there's no happily ever after, and only we can make (or break) a better world. But, like a child allowed to keep his toys and his childhood fantasies becomes a dysfunctional monster, humanity must grow up, or we will become a monstrous race, killing and devouring with a child's heedlessness, blindness and greed. As Maher says, our abilities to pollute, to kill, and to destroy have outstripped our ability to reason and to be rational. Religion is the security blanket, the pacifier, that keeps us from moving on.

That is Maher's mission - to rid us of the security blanket. As long as we treat it with reverence, we will never let it go. Religion is a very real threat. It will remain a threat as long as societies like ours continue to allow religion a pass on behavior and thinking which we would (and do) condemn in other contexts. This is a point I have argued for years, and if *I* was taken aback at Maher's blatant disrespect, clearly, we have along way to go.
lunadelcorvo: (Unclear on the Concept)
There have been several brilliant responses to the hate-mongering of Fred Phelps and his gang already. Notably the Bikers lining up and drowning out all the slogans and jeers from Phelp's crew. Next, I believe first appearing at Matt Shepperd's funeral, were the Angels, with huge white wings to block Phelp and Co. from view of their target, or the media.

But this one is new (to me anyway) and it's brilliant! Presenting: The Phelps-a-thon!
"When the Phelps group comes to Hartford to protest the Connecticut Supreme Court, they will actually be raising money for LGBT equality.

Driving Equality is hosting a Phelps-A-Thon to counter Fred Phelps’ hateful message. For every minute the “God Hates Fags” clan is protesting, we will be collecting donations for Love Makes a Family, a local organization working for marriage and LGBT equality in Connecticut.

The Phelps clan will be protesting at the Connecticut Supreme Court from 1:15 PM to 2:00 PM on April 28th. You can pledge any amount you chose, whether it be $0.25, $0.50, $1, or even $2 for every minute they protest. You can even pledge a flat rate for the entire time the group will be demonstrating.

The point of this Phelps-A-Thon is two fold. First, we are using Phelps’ own hateful message to raise funds for a good cause, one that will help counter the lies that are being spread about LGBT people. Second, After the event, we will send Phelps a thank you card, telling him how much money he raised for LGBT equality. This will certainly upset the group and it is possible that they will stop protesting in order to stop our fundraising."
Quoted from http://www.phelps-a-thon.com

Please consider going and pledging for the upcoming protest. (Next up is Hartford, CN.)

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] ynfytyn for pointing this out. I'm just helping spread the word.
lunadelcorvo: (Stupidity brain hurts)
That's why there is no global warming/climate change!


Listen as an elected representative (Rep. Shumkus, R., Illinois) testifies at a recent House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment hearing that since the Bible says "the Earth will not be destroyed by a flood," climate change is not a threat. Well, I'm so happy we got that all cleared up!

Oh, he also testified that carbon emissions are what keeps plants alive, and that the earth is actually a "carbon-starved" planet. See the entire train-wreck HERE.

*headdesk*
lunadelcorvo: (Stupidity brain hurts)
Saw this gem courtesy of the Planned Parenthood newsletter, but the article is from Feministing.

The Ex-Masturbator Campaign: Shaming idle hands since 2009

(quoted from the article) "You know...sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words. (Not to mention an infinite number of jokes.)

Apparently the Passion for Christ Movement has a bunch of these "ex" shirts, and this is just the latest."

The author of the article quotes from another article on the campaign associated with the shirts, noting that the "shame" which these idiots associate with masturbation comes from just these sorts of tactics, like those in this article referring to "an illegal orgasm," apparently a common term among Passion for Christ members. He quotes that article:

Two things I've come to know about masturbation is this:

1. It brings shame, and...
2. It is addictive

Most people who have engaged in masturbation know that the culmination of this sexual act ends in shame. I don't have to share with you the thousands of emails of the admittance of this shame because you know all too well since you have experienced it yourself. Curled up in a fetal position, crying, because your bed is even more empty and you're lonelier than you did before you violated yourself.

What I find particularly tragic about this is that, let's face it, no one is *really* going to stop fiddling below the belt for life. (Heaven help us if they do, because they're all gonna go postal one day!) What they ARE going to do is take on, willingly, cheerfully, a boatload of guilt, shame, and psychological ass-f*cking over utterly harmless, purely natural and healthy behavior. This is psychological repression on a deeply inherent level, and it is toxic, and fer fucks sake, shouldn't we know better by now?

Once again, I am forced to ask if some of these people have noticed that it isn't 1600 anymore?
lunadelcorvo: (Comma Sutra)
My Political Views
I am a left social libertarian
Left: 7.36, Libertarian: 4.41

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My Foreign Policy Views
Score: -8.31

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My Culture War Stance
Score: -8.79

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lunadelcorvo: (Hobbes Dancing)
Wow. It is finally real! For the first time in 8 years, for the first time, really since my son was born, the words "My President" are not a burden, a sentence, or a weight of shame. I am proud to say them, and I feel them ring true. Even at his best (examples of which escape me at present, perhaps because THERE WERE NONE) Bush was never MY president. Obama is MY President.

Don't worry, I'm happy to share.

lunadelcorvo: (Default)
The fucker did it. He passed the legislation 'protecting' health care workers from OH NOES! having to do their frikkin' jobs, and prescribe or dispense not only abortion services, but IUDs, hormone based contraceptives, and emergency contraception as well. This is couched as a freedom of speech measure for the religious, supposedly forced into providing services they "find repugnant." What it is however, is a way to get legislation on the books which classifies any birth control which prevents implantation of a fertilized ovum (like the pill, Norplant, IUDs, etc.) as "abortion."

Like so many pieces of seemingly innocent (not that this is innocent - if you are going to be an OB/GYN and not prescribe birth control you have no damn business with a license) legislation snuck under the radar, the sole purpose of this is a wedge. A little inroad, hidden in the piles of verbiage, that has the potential to be picked up later, and assembled into a weapon. It's the little bit of plastic hidden in the soap sent to the prisoner; almost undetectable, but when later gathered and ordered, can be deadly. Goddammit!

Read the whole story HERE and more about the bill here and here.

Start writing letters to Obama now, and let's hope this crap gets overturned immediately with the new administration.

Also, see this post for more on my thoughts on this...
lunadelcorvo: (Default)
Sick of the politicos? Tired of election rhetoric? Had one too many calls, e-mails and flyers?

You need to watch THIS. It's the best therapy for election fatigue I've seen to date!

(Special thanks to my buddy Will for pointing this out!)


(The fatigue thing - wasn't intentional, just an accidental pun.....)
lunadelcorvo: (Default)


It's a delicious spoof of McCain's "Obama = Anti-Christ" ad a few weeks back....
lunadelcorvo: (Mamabear)
I must say, in a way I have an additional reason to be happy when this thesis is done and over. Some of the crap I have been reading is really starting to get to me. The material I have been researching is distrubing, infuriating, and deeply scary. From Promise Keepers and other groups promoting "godly familes and marriages" to the insidious mix of 'cure and condemn' anti-gay rhetoric - its just sickening.

One of the things that has been especially disturbing is finding out just how horrendous the "abstinence-only" sex-ed programs really are. When I think of the numbers of young people fed this crap, and the damage it can and will do...

These 'abstinence-only' programs incorporate utter nonsense and blatant lies; things like misrepresenting the failure rates of birth control and condoms as protections against HIV/STDs, suggesting that birth control measures (or abortions) cause cancer, miscarriage, infertility, and so on. They also promote sexist stereotypes, by suggesting that since boys 'only want sex' and 'can't control themselves,' it is up to the girl (since girls don't like sex) to ensure that a couple does not have sex. (With the obvious implication that it's her fault if they do - hello, Eve!)

This is a report issued by the US government on such programs. Some specifics cited in the report are:
• A 43-day-old fetus is a "thinking person."
• HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, can be spread via sweat and tears.
• No evidence demonstrates condoms’ effectiveness against HPV transmission.
• Condoms fail to prevent HIV transmission as often as 31 percent of the time in heterosexual intercourse.
• Touching another person’s genitals can result in pregnancy.
• Remaining a virgin all but eliminates the possibility of becoming pregnant. (Emphasis mine-WTF?)
• Five to ten percent of women will never again [be able to] be pregnant after having a legal abortion.
• A woman needs to feel a man’s devotion to her, and a man has a primary need to feel a woman’s admiration.
• A Bride price is actually an honor to the bride; it says she is valuable to the groom.
• Abstention from sexual activity eliminates depression, poverty, loneliness, substance abuse, and suicide.


I don't care what your religious beliefs are, or how you see sex in your personal morality. Lying to children and teens in the guise of education is WRONG. It's as wrong as giving them lies about how to cross the street safely, or how to get out of the house in case of a fire, or anything else that involves their personal safety. As a parent, I can't describe the depth of anger I feel when I see that this crap is being taught to young people in schools, with all the borrowed legitimacy that implies. Worse, it is federally funded, meaning my taxes and yours have paid people to write this garbage, and paid people to indoctrinate young people with it. I have no words for the wrongness of this.
lunadelcorvo: (Critical Miss (shit))
From an article, Police prepare for unrest, published today in The Hill, which is the leading newspaper of Congress and Capitol Hill:
POLICE PREPARE FOR UNREST
by Alexander Bolton
Police departments in cities across the country are beefing up their ranks for Election Day, preparing for possible civil unrest and riots after the historic presidential contest.

Public safety officials said in interviews with The Hill that the election, which will end with either the nation's first black president or its first female vice president, demanded a stronger police presence.


Bolton is confecting one of those disingenuous 'balanced presentations' that falsify the real story. No one would riot over the election of a female Vice President, if that was all there was to it.

Some worry that if Barack Obama loses and there is suspicion of foul play in the election...


There'll be more than 'suspicion of foul play' going on if McCain's declared the winner.

Read the rest here: http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/010706.html#010706
lunadelcorvo: (Don't let the shadows take me)
I'd love to introduce this with something witty, but the stupid runs too deep for that. Stupid like this is just sad. And scary. I want to move to Finland, like NOW.

"Block African witchcraft curses against McCain and Palin NOW!
Jim Bramlett
Sep 28 2008 04:12PM

Dear friends:

THIS IS EXTREMELY SERIOUS.

Minutes ago I spoke with friend Dr. Norman G. Marvin, M.D. and he is so concerned at what he has learned about Barack Obama's family in Kenya that he is calling a special prayer meeting in his home to pray against the witchcraft curses attempted by them against John McCain and Sarah Palin.

Dr. Marvin sent me the below e-mail from Flo Ellers. Flo is credentialed with the International Fellowship of Ministries which is based in Washington State. She is also a member of EndTime Handmaidens and Servants of Jasper, Arkansas.

IF YOU KNOW HOW TO DO SPIRITUAL WARFARE, PLEASE PRAY TODAY AND CONTINUALLY THAT ALL SUCH CURSES BE BROKEN AND SATAN'S PLAN FOR AMERICA BE DEFEATED, IN JESUS' NAME. PRAY AND COVER MCCAIN AND PALIN WITH THE BLOOD OF CHRIST. IF YOU DO NOT KNOW HOW TO DO SPIRITUAL WARFARE, IT IS TIME YOU LEARN!!!"

and:

"Bree Keyton went and visited Obama's tribal people and she found out Obama is 75% Arab and his family are Muslims. Odinga is strill trying to become the President of Kenya. If he does, he will make a law forbidding all public preaching and institute Sharia Law. Bree K. said Odinga has made a pact with satan.

Bree K. also said when Obama visited his tribe in '06 and as late as Jan. '08 he went to every elder's home which has a "shrine" inside to worship the genie and asked for their blessing. She was told Obama and Odinga were both "destined" before they were born to be president/leader of their nation. They say "he is the chosen one". She said Obama's grandmother sacrificed a black and a white chicken to the "goddess of the river" so both whites and blacks will vote for Obama. All Islam loves and worships Obama. The world is mesmerized by him. Oprah's 200 million followers are out to elect Obama. Also, Dick Morris of Fox News was sent to Kenya to help Odinga run his campaign! I find that unbelievable.

The occultists are "weaving lazy 8's around McCain's mind to make him look confused and like an idiot". Bree K. said we need to break these curses off of him that are being sent from Kenya."


Source

OK, yes, these are the fringe, the nutters (obviously) and the minority (hopefully). But they are adults, citizens of this nation, members of our culture, fer fukksake! They use computers, and the internet, and they are spreading warnings about curses and sacrificed chickens and witchcraft!!!!! What's next, blaming Barack when milk goes sour, when the cat gets fleas, when it doesn't rain often enough? WTF? How? Somebody tell me how? How is any adult this colossally stupid? HOW? And why are we not locking these people up and forcing them to get psychological help?

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Things I need to remember:
• Asking for help is not, as it turns out, fatal.
• Laughing is easier than pulling your hair out, and doesn't have the unfortunate side effect of making you look like a plague victim.
• Even the biggest tasks can be defeated if taken a bit at a time.
• I can write a paper the night before it's due, but the results are not all they could be.
• Be thorough, but focused.
• Trust yourself.
• Honesty, always.

Historians are the Cassandras of the Humanities

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