First thing, I rarely comment on natural disasters and the devastation they cause. We live on a planet with a molten iron core generating massive amount of energy and pressure. The shifting of tectonic plates have a cause and effect paradigm that leads to all sorts of bad things and the fact that earth is spinning on its axis and at a phenomenal speed around our sun coupled with the heat or lack of from that sun leads to violent weather patterns. Typhoons, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes…these are natural processes. They are what we have to deal with as inhabitants of this violent planet. There is no hand of God in a Hurricane such as the one that hit New Orleans, though that attribution was made by various religious personalities citing the “sin” that went on in that area. There was no hand of God in the erruption of Mt. St. Helens. The explosion was due to the release of pressure generated from deep within the earth.
Haiti was hit by a massive earthquake that, according to most estimates, caused the deaths of at least 200,000 human beings. More will follow as people die from disease due to lack of sanitation, injuries sustained in the earthquake and so forth. Who knows what the total casualty amount will be. One would say that if there was a God and that He had any hand in this devastation, or at the least did nothing to prevent it, then He is a cruel being. If a God exists and It did nothing to prevent this from happening to a country already ravaged by massive poverty and suffering, then, as the saying by Epicurus goes:
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
Yet for the believers in Gods they do not see the malevolence in their deity. No, they are thankful and see miracles in the aftermath of his negligence. I have read many “It’s a miracle!” stories coming from Haiti. Babies surviving days trapped in rubble. People living 14 days trapped in rubble. The building fell and killed scores yet I lived, stories. And so forth. And they thank Jesus. Jesus saved my baby! Of course, now these babies will go on to live in poverty in the poorest nation in the hemisphere.
There is a photo and story spreading through the connected tubes of the Internets about a cloud that was seen over Haiti (and the same photoshopped picture has been used for various other natural disasters) showing a pair of cloud like hands in the sky:
Were I a victim of the earthquake in Haiti I would be saying, so fucking what, instead of attributing it to any supernatural power. Or, What’s the fricking point? Of course, Snopes has the true story behind this farce. There is a crucifix that was not damaged in Haiti while the church around it collapsed:
Another “miracle.” Hundreds of thousands dead, a country destroyed and a piece of carved rock remains intact. What is the message? Jesus is laughing at you? Yet people of Haiti and other places take these as wonderous signs of God’s love. There are headlines such as this one from CBN:
The nausea has to be fought to keep me from hurling over that headline. A young girl, Daline Etienne, was found alive after 15 days buried in rubble. The chief medic on the French team that found her said:
“It’s a miracle. God has watched over her and Jesus got her out,”
But wasn’t it God who put her there and wasn’t it men who got her out? And what of the 200,000 thousand dead and the living suffering? Did they deserve it? Does their God have limited miracle ability?
I understand the need to rationalize, to deal with psychological trauma. To find the good in the presence of bad. It is a shame that superstitious nonsense is the answer to those conditions. It is annoying to hear the praises for a deity that will save one, two, a dozen babies, yet sit back as thousands more have their lives crushed under mounds of concrete and rubble.
Someone a lot wiser than myself once summed it all up in the brutal answer to it all.
I found this at CBS.com:
A large majority of Americans who watched President Obama’s State of the Union Address generally approve of the proposals he outlined in his speech, according to a CBS News Poll conducted online by Knowledge Networks immediately after the President’s address.
Of the randomly selected 522 speech viewers questioned by CBS, 83 percent said they approved of the proposals the President made. Just 17 percent disapproved — typical of the high support a president generally receives among those who choose to watch the State of the Union. In January 2002 — when George W. Bush gave the State of the Union Address a year into his presidency — 85% of speech watchers approved.
Now we need to see if he can get these proposals passed. And as to the blurb about GW Bush getting an 85% approval rating on their SOTU speech one should remember it was right after 9/11. It is encouraging, after all the rhetoric of how bad the public views Obama’s policies after the loss of the Senate seat in Massachusetts that Obama still seems to enjoy widespread support.
Now he needs to get to work and make things happen.
This was posted over at the Daily Kos. It was a poll taken on O’Reilly’s web site. It will be interesting to see how this will be spun. my bet is it will be ignored.
And he delivered a knock out. Maybe this is a sign that he is ready to show up to work for the next three years. Here is a small part from Youtube:
The Huffington Post has Q & A session is here and the complete transcript to go with it. Obama, whatever one thinks of him is an incredibly informed and competent person. He handles the GOP with ease and aplomb. And, he doesn’t take any crap. And unlike a former president he speaks in complete sentences with great dignity and clarity. It is a pleasure to listen to him articulate his thoughts and rebuttals. There is no way that GW Bush could have ever carried this off without swaggering hubris and smirking disdain. And butchering the English language in the process.
It was truly a pleasure watching President Obama work. And it is interesting that not one Republican asked to see Obama’s birth certificate. Perhaps that means they accept his legitimacy to be our president? Also there was, whether superficial or not due to cameras rolling, a good level of respect show to President Obama by the Republicans. I do not think that this encounter will stop the GOP attack machine, but it was a great display of a United States president taking on the opposition party and not only holding his own but doing it without a teleprompter or cue cards. In fact, Fox News turned off their coverage 20 minutes before it ended because Obama was not being shown to be a fool, a communist, a radical liberal or whatever. Obama’s handling of the last question showed his willingness to fight and to call BS and showed the GOP typical assault to be the craven political tactic that it is.
I would bet that the Republicans don’t do this again and if they do they won’t have the cameras rolling.
The only one this twisted scum will ever get.
Shooter convicted of first degree culpability in deat of Kansas physician
A man who said he killed prominent Kansas abortion provider Dr. George Tiller in order to save the lives of unborn children was convicted Friday of murder.
The jury deliberated for just 37 minutes before finding Scott Roeder, 51, of Kansas City, Mo., guilty of premeditated, first-degree murder in the May 31 shooting death.
Defense attorney Mark Rudy described his case as helpless and hopeless.
I wonder why Jebus didn’t get him off? Maybe he was pissed because Roeder shot Dr. Tiller in a church?
Prosecutors were careful during the first few days of testimony to avoid the subject of abortion and to focus on the specifics of the shooting. Wilbert said he did not want the trial to become a debate on abortion, but he did allow Roeder to discuss his views on the subject.
Roeder, the lone defense witness, testified Thursday that he considered elaborate schemes to stop Tiller, including chopping off his hands, crashing a car into him or sneaking into his home to kill him.
But in the end, Roeder told jurors, the easiest way was to walk into Tiller’s church, put a gun to the man’s forehead and pull the trigger.
“Those children were in immediate danger if someone did not stop George Tiller,” Roeder said. “They were going to continue to die.”
The thing is….abortion is legal. Walking up to a man in in church and shooting him in the head in front of his family and friends isn’t. Who cares what his views were on abortion, the economy or the price of tea in China?
I hope he enjoys the rest of his life behind bars. It is certain that he will be a martyr for sick morons like the Army of God who have a “Scott Roeder Hero Page.” I wonder if it is fun being a hero while you are in prison for life?
Maybe he’ll grow used to it….
This was a great review of the life of Howard Zinn and what he meant to so many people. The interesting thing is that across the board his effect on people was to help them to understand history while he stood at the front lines of history himself.
If you have not heard of Howard Zinn or read his many books I recommend that you look into this man and his works. His influence on me was incredible. As a history buff he taught me to look behind what text books say and try to see our past from the people’s experiences and points of view.
Thanks Amy for giving this man his due.
A thread on one of my friends on Facebook diverted to the Tea Party selectively patriotic and this comment was made:
You mock the tea party protesters, who include all walks of life, political parties and ethnic backgrounds. has it become anti- American now to question the powers that be? “
Never mind the other nonsense that was being regurgitated, my point was in my response to the above, where were these “patriots” during the Bush presidency when our constitution was being used as a doormat. Why weren’t these “patriots” questioning the “powers that be” back then? Oh yeah. Bush was white. And a Republican.
Anyway, Bartcop had an irate birther/tea party gun totin’ selectively patriotic nitwit give him grief because he posted the above picture on his web site. His response is pretty much spot on in regard dealing with these people. If profanity bothers you I would stay away. Otherwise….Bartcop.com. Today’s issue.
Dems, take a hint.