Archive

Archive for March, 2009

A Paucity Of People For Prayin’ Palin

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And now we know why God set Sarah adrift in a sea of mean media and irrelevance.  It was those Christians who were not up to her and her invisible friend’s standards.

McCain Staffers Angered By Palin’s Prayer Remarks

CNN reports that former McCain/Palin staffers are now very unhappy with Sarah Palin and her latest antic: Declaring at an Alaska GOP dinner last week that none of her staffers had been the sort of people she would want to pray with.

Do tell.

“So I’m looking around for somebody to pray with, I just need maybe a little help, maybe a little extra,” said Palin. “And the McCain campaign, love ’em, you know, they’re a lot of people around me, but nobody I could find that I wanted to hold hands with and pray.”

You know, really whacked out evangelical types that wanted to kill gays and abortionists and what not.

One anonymous staffer expressed his outrage to CNN. “It’s about us people who were on the plane, who showed extreme loyalty to Palin, continually getting thrown under the bus or slapped in the face by her comments, whether she means it or not,” the staffer said, adding that this is the kind of thing that would “cause you to question not only your loyalty but her judgment as a leader.”

That is the only thing that would cause you to question her judgement as a leader?  Yikes you guys were a clueless bunch.

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Poverty Is Not a Crime

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This morning on NPR I was hearing how prisons across America are giving early release to prisoners and sending drug offenders to therapy rather than incarcerating them thereby saving millions of dollars.  Therefore, I found it interesting that a county would incur the cost of keeping  this women  incarcerated for…being poor. Fortunately the ACLU has pointed out the unconstitutionality of that absurd decision.

Judge Must Release Woman Sentenced to Jail for Being Poor, ACLU Says in Court Papers

The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan asked for an emergency hearing today on behalf of an Escanaba woman sentenced to 30 days in jail because she is too poor to reimburse the court for her son’s stay in a juvenile detention facility.

“Like many people in these desperate economic times, Ms. Nowlin was laid off from work, lost her home and is destitute,” said Michael J. Steinberg, ACLU of Michigan Legal Director. “Jailing her because of her poverty is not only unconstitutional, it’s unconscionable and a shameful waste of resources. It is not a crime to be poor in this country and the government must stop resurrecting debtor’s prisons from the dustbin of history.”

I would think that every community would be looking to save money wherever possible and incarcerating people for frivolous or questionable reasons would be easy fat to cut from a budget.  This woman’s crime?

In December 2008, Ms. Nowlin’s 16-year-old son was sentenced to the Bay Pines Center and Ms. Nowlin was ordered to pay $104 per month for his lodging. At the time of this order, Ms. Nowlin was homeless and working part-time with a friend after being laid off from her job. She told the court that she was unable to pay the ordered amount, however the judge found her in contempt for failing to pay. In addition, Ms. Nowlin’s requests for a court appointed attorney were denied.

Now we are going back to Debtor’s Prisons?  I think not.

Since March 3, 2009, Ms. Nowlin has been serving her sentence at the Delta County Jail. On March 6, 2009, she was released for one day to work. Once released she picked up her $178.53 check from work thinking that she now could pay the $104.00 to get out of jail. However, upon her return to jail that evening, the sheriff forced her to sign over her check to the jail to cover $120.00 for “room and board.” She was also charged $22 for a drug test and the booking fee.

According to the ACLU’s motion: “This country did away with debtors’ prisons more than a century ago. The imprisonment of Ms. Nowlin because she is too destitute to make payments to the court is a miscarriage of justice.”

One would think the judge would know that.

In representing Ms. Nowlin, the ACLU of Michigan argues that the court unconstitutionally sentenced Ms. Nowlin to a debtors’ prison without assessing her ability to pay the court. Additionally, the court violated her rights by denying her request for a court appointed lawyer.

I think it would be fitting if the judge was forced to serve out the sentence he imposed on this woman.  Let him see how he likes it.  Perhaps it would give him time to study the law and to learn some compassion.  Perhaps.

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The Pope Is An Ass Hat

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Or at least he wears one.  It seems that an institution that relies on facts and research, not myth and mumbo jumbo, did not care for the former Nazi-turned-Pope’s comments about condoms not helping slow the spread of Aids in Africa.

Pope Distorting Scientific About Condems, Claims Lancet

Medical Journal Calls  For Pope’s ‘Outrageous and Wildly Inaccurate’ Claims Over HIV/Aids to be Retracted

The medical journal the Lancet has accused Pope Benedict XVI of distorting scientific evidence to promote Catholic doctrine following his remarks about condom use and HIV.

The attack — which also said that the pope did not know what he was talking about and had put millions of lives at risk — followed his statement last week during a visit to Africa that the use of condoms increased HIV infection rates. This was later amended by the Vatican, which said that condom use merely increased the risk of transmission.

What a surprise.  A man who makes his living off of spreading absurd myths that defy reason and logic doesn’t have a clue about what he is talking about.  Who could have imagined?

Today’s Lancet editorial said the Pope’s statement was “outrageous and wildly inaccurate”.

It added: “By saying that condoms exacerbate the problem of HIV/Aids, the pope has publicly distorted scientific evidence to promote Catholic doctrine.

“Whether the pope’s error was due to ignorance or a deliberate attempt to manipulate science to support Catholic ideology is unclear … When any influential person, be it a religious or political leader, makes a false scientific statement that could be devastating to the health of millions of people, they should retract or correct the public record. Anything less from Pope Benedict would be an immense disservice to the public and health advocates, including many thousands of Catholics who work tirelessly to try and prevent the spread of HIV/Aids worldwide.”

Yes, and be glad that we are living in 2009 instead of the thirteenth century or the publishers of the Lancet would be receiving a little Inquisition and then a good old fashioned Christian burning at the stake.

The arguments used by church authorities in defending their opposition to condoms have become increasingly convoluted. But medical experts see them as a vital part of the strategy for preventing the spread of HIV, particularly in Africa.

Imagine that.  And just the other day the Vatican’s astronomer said that religion needs science.  Unless of course it gets in the way of their mumbo jumbo mythical magic musings.  Convoluted arguments indeed.  That sums up religious belief in a nutshell.

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About That “Democracy” In Iraq

Real News has an interesting take on how things are going in Iraq now.

Not going well, it seems.  What a surprise.

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Freedom From Reality and For Fanatics

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I find this incredible as well as ominous.  Legitimization of pracitices and beliefs of the most bizarre and barbaric type based on mythical texts and invisible beings at the expense of free speech and law.

Reuters:

U.N. Body Adopts Resolution On Religious Defemation

A United Nations forum on Thursday passed a resolution condemning “defamation of religion” as a human rights violation, despite wide concerns that it could be used to justify curbs on free speech in Muslim countries.

The U.N. Human Rights Council adopted the non-binding text, proposed by Pakistan on behalf of Islamic states, with a vote of 23 states in favor and 11 against, with 13 abstentions.

Western governments and a broad alliance of activist groups have voiced dismay about the religious defamation text, which adds to recent efforts to broaden the concept of human rights to protect communities of believers rather than individuals.

Pakistan, speaking for the 56-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), said a “delicate balance” had to be struck between freedom of expression and respect for religions.

The resolution said Muslim minorities had faced intolerance, discrimination and acts of violence since the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, including laws and administrative procedures that stigmatize religious followers.

The thing is…just like seat belt laws.  They are bought in as “safety” regulations with fines for those that don’t use them.  Then through the back door comes legislation, as it did here in Georgia, where not wearing them provides probable cause for police to search your vehicle.  Instigated by Muslim countries to protect their misogyny and intolerence how will they be used agianst those that challenge religious based laws in Western countries and specifically here in the U.S.?

“Defamation of religious is a serious affront to human dignity leading to a restriction on the freedom of their adherents and incitement to religious violence,” the adopted text read, adding that “Islam is frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism.”

Well…as much as I find belief in invisible beings as well as adherence to ancient mythical texts ludicrous, I have never called for the prohibition of those beliefs or practices.  However, in the spectrum of religions there is one that has a history and a penchant for suicide bombings and attacks.  There is one that has waged riots over the lampooning of their prophet, there is only one that in this day and age stones people to death and beheads them, especially women, for crimes such as being seen in the company of a male not related to them or their spouse.  And for blasphemy, for being dressed improperly or for not having a beard of the correct length.  Islam is the only one that fits that bill.

It called on states to ensure that religious places, sites, shrines and symbols are protected, to reinforce laws “to deny impunity” for those exhibiting intolerance of ethnic and religious minorities, and “to take all possible measures to promote tolerance and respect for all religions and beliefs.”

If you come to me espousing Flat Earth nonsense I will ridicule you.  If you come to me espousing Bible babble I will challenge you and have no respect nor will I be tolerant of your superstitions and beliefs.  If you deal with a world that is real and with facts, proofs and reason then we can have a dialogue.  Your houses of worship mean nothing to me nor do your shrines and symbols.  They are man made things and as such will be treated as so.

The 47-member Human Rights Council has drawn criticism for reflecting mainly the interests of Islamic and African countries, which when voting together can control its agenda.

Addressing the body, Germany said on behalf of the European Union that while instances of Islamophobia, Christianophobia, anti-Semitism and other forms of religious discrimination should be taken seriously, it was “problematic to reconcile the notion of defamation (of religion) with the concept of discrimination.”

“The European Union does not see the concept of defamation of religion as a valid one in a human rights discourse,” it said. “The European Union believes that a broader, more balanced and thoroughly rights-based text would be best suited to address the issues underlying this draft resolution.”

Groups suffering from mass hysteria do not deserve coddling.  Individuals pursuing their beliefs should be afforded the same rights as any other citizen and subject to the same responses for espousing nonsense and myth as reality.

“It is individuals who have rights, not religions,” Ottawa’s representative told the body. “Canada believes that to extend (the notion of) defamation beyond its proper scope would jeopardize the fundamental right to freedom of expression, which includes freedom of expression on religious subjects.”

That is exactly my perspective.  My freedom of expression will not be stifled by a U.N. Mandate.  Please send a blue helmet brigade this way.

Earlier this week, 180 secular, religious and media groups from around the world urged diplomats to reject the resolution which they said “may be used in certain countries to silence and intimidate human rights activists, religious dissenters and other independent voices” and ultimately restrict freedoms.

Yet here we see the power of a religious body to bully and force their will on a political body.  I do not advocate discrimination.  I do advocate calling out foolish beliefs and practices.  I especiall advocate fighting religious based legislation.  The U.N has totally dropped the ball on this resolution.

I have lost a good portion of what little respect I had for them over this absurd issue.

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Freedom Tower Foolery

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I for one have never seen the people who died in the attacks in NYC on 9/11 as heroes.  The people that died trying to rescue the trapped civilians were, but the workers in the buildings were victims.  Also, the despicable efforts by the GOP to propagandize 9/11 and NYC by having their 2004 RNC there made me want to gag.

And it must have worked.  Those bastards that allowed it to happen got re-elected.  Now, attacks are being waged against the patriotism of the people that have changed the name of the new building going up at ground zero from Freedom Tower to One World Trade Center.  I personally like the “Fuck You We’ve Come Back” building, but I really don’t care.  I am so sick of “freedom” being tagged to everything as if by invoking it that makes it real.  Where was the “Feedom”  in the “Free Speech Zones” and massive arrests by the police in NYC  at the RNC in ’04 to keep the protesters of Bush’s illegal war and failed poliices from the public eye?  Where is the “Freedom” in the destruction of Iraq and Afghanistan?  Where is the “Freedom” in secret rendition, torture and murder of detainees and the incarceration of an American citizen for over three years with no right of habeus corpus as with Jose Padilla?  So get you drawers in a knot.  I really don’t GAF.

Critics Call WTC Tower Name Change Unpatriotic

Even without the name, the symbolism of the Freedom Tower as an American response to the Sept. 11 terror attacks was hard to miss.

The original architect designed a twisting form he wanted to imitate the Statue of Liberty, with a spire that rose to the deliberate height of 1,776 feet to recognize the year of American independence. Politicians called the tower proof of the country’s triumph over terrorism.

Former Gov. George Pataki said visitors to the iconic skyscraper “will know our determination to overcome evil” in a 2003 speech that first gave the Freedom Tower its name.

The tower — still under construction with a projected completion date of 2013 — no longer has the same architect, design or footprint on the 16-acre site. And this week, the owners of ground zero publicly parted ways with the Freedom Tower name, saying it would be more practical to market the tallest building in New York as the former north tower’s name, One World Trade Center.

Critics called the name drop an unpatriotic shedding of symbolism by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Whatever.  How about changing it to the “Why Did You Let Them Strike” building?  Or the “Terrorism Has Grown Exponentially Since the Former Buildings Were Destroyed” building?

But others privately repeated fears that have plagued the building as negotiations with major corporations to take up space in the tower came and went: that the 102-story Freedom Tower’s name could make it more susceptible to future attacks than a symbol of defiance against it.

“The fact is, more than 3 billion dollars of public money is invested in that building and, as a public agency, we have the responsibility to make sure it is completed and that we utilize the best strategy to make certain it is fully occupied,” the agency said in a statement Friday.

Whoop!  Whoop!  Logic Alert!

Pataki — who named the Freedom Tower in his 2003 speech and continued to refer to it in rebuilding speeches as a symbol of America’s ability to come back after Sept. 11, took offense at the loss of the Freedom Tower moniker and its replacement.

“Where One and Two World Trade Center once stood, there will be a memorial with two voids to honor the heroes we lost. In my view, those addresses should never be used again,” he said.

The Daily News and New York Post published editorials backing the former governor. But The New York Times on Saturday wrote that Pataki’s name for the building became “its burden,” and said the Port Authority was “quietly and sensibly” using another name to market the tower to high-profile commercial tenants.

What?  We lost the towers and Building 7 and so we would not be able to “come back” from that?  Do we need a symbol to show we’ve come back?  How about the symbol of the corporations that raped us dry during that “come back” period?  Right down the road on Wall Street the brokers, bankers and bandits showed their patriotism by hand over fist greed.  Maybe the “We Bilked You While You Bled” building would be best.  Bank of America, The United States’ biggest bank was a tenant in one of the towers and is a recipient of bail out money due to reckless banking practices and unmitigated greed.  How about the “Bank of America-We Got Ours While You Got Yours” building?

Is this even worth the anxiety?  If only they showed as much passion in finding out how their government let them down and why the perported perpetrator is living large in Pakistan after all these years have passed.  Now that would be patriotic.

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How Are Those Butterflies Working Out For You?

Over at BoingBoing they have an old AIG commercial.

I wonder how those butterflies are working out  now?

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Yeah.  I would imagine.

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