Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Get Out Of My Foxhole You Atheists

An avowed secular atheist and member of the Humanist Society stood in court recently and asked to have his group recognized as a religious organization, so he could serve as a Navy chaplain. What the court did not hear is that the Humanist Society is part of the American Humanist Association, an atheist organization that publicly mocks all religious beliefs.

For soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines who need it, chaplains perform religious services, pray on the battlefield, ensure access to religious Scripture, and provide religious comfort to the men and women in the field and to their families back at home. These atheists cannot do that.
Of course, if you are an atheist serving in the Navy you might not want any of the mumbo jumbo of a religious chaplain.

Crazy Christians Kill People Too

On his “Washington Watch” radio program yesterday, Perkins repeated his claim that Islam is not protected under the U.S. Constitution.
Perkins said that the country is under no obligation to provide legal protections for people “who want to blow — I mean, when was the last time you saw a Baptist trying to blow something up?”
Don't know about Baptists, but I wonder what Perkins thinks about Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols?

Timothy McVeigh Religious Beliefs:
McVeigh was raised Roman Catholic. During his childhood, he and his father attended Mass regularly. McVeigh was confirmed at the Good Shepherd Church in Pendleton, New York, in 1985. In a 1996 interview, McVeigh professed belief in "a God", although he said he had "sort of lost touch with" Catholicism and "I never really picked it up, however I do maintain core beliefs." In McVeigh's biography American Terrorist, released in 2002, he stated that he did not believe in a hell and that science is his religion. In June 2001, a day before the execution, McVeigh wrote a letter to the Buffalo News identifying himself as agnostic. Before his execution, McVeigh took the Catholic sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.
Terry Nichols Religious Beliefs:
And one most certainly does insult Muslims by tying their religion to movements such as terrorism or fascism. Muslims perceive a double standard in this regard: Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols would never be called “Christian terrorists” even though they were in close contact with the Christian Identity Movement.
Also, does shooting abortion doctors count? Christians, not Muslims are the ones doing that in the United States. Crazy Christians have been incredibly violent all around the world:
Anti-abortion violence is violence committed against individuals and organizations that provide abortion. Incidents of violence have included destruction of property, in the form of vandalism; crimes against people, including kidnapping, stalking, assault, attempted murder, and murder; and crimes affecting both people and property, including arson and bombings.

Anti-abortion violence is considered to be a form of terrorism by the US Department of Justice and is most frequently committed in the United States, though it has also occurred in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. G. Davidson Smith of Canadian Security Intelligence Service defined anti-abortion violence as "single issue terrorism". A study of 1982–87 violence considered the incidents "limited political" or "subrevolutionary" terrorism.

What would Jesus do? He would join the Army of God, of course.
Army of God (AOG) is a Christian terrorist anti-abortion organization that sanctions the use of force to combat abortion in the United States.
Perkins is a hypocrite and a bigot.

Dumbass Quote Of Note - Adrian Garcia

"After carefully reading your letter I must deny your request in the removal of our Nations [sic] motto from our patrol units, and ask that you and the Freedom From Religion Foundation go fly a kite." - Adrian Garcia

Tire Rims and Anthrax

Sometimes the internet just sucks me in for hours and hours.

I've gotten caught up in the selections of favorite John Cole posts over at Balloon-Juice.

Let’s see if we can come up with John Cole’s greatest hits.  Put up a link to your favorite of his posts, as a comment, along with a brief description of what’s in it and why you like it.  (This will help reduce repetitions; of course it’s fine to talk about whatever comes up.)  I tend to think of slice-of-life posts about pets, cars, roommates, mustard, and the challenges of avoiding long pants, but of course political posts are fair game as well.
Here's one example:
I really don’t understand how bipartisanship is ever going to work when one of the parties is insane. Imagine trying to negotiate an agreement on dinner plans with your date, and you suggest Italian and she states her preference would be a meal of tire rims and anthrax. If you can figure out a way to split the difference there and find a meal you will both enjoy, you can probably figure out how bipartisanship is going to work the next few years.
My own favorite John Cole post is Well, Of Course They Did:
In a stunning 5-4 ruling along partisan lines, the Supreme Court today began chipping away at the separation of church and state:
The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that a town in upstate New York did not violate the Constitution by starting its public meetings with a prayer from a “chaplain of the month” who was almost always Christian.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing for the majority in a 5-to-4 decision that divided the court’s more conservative members from its liberal ones, said the prayers were merely ceremonial. They were neither unduly sectarian nor likely to make members of other faiths feel unwelcome.

“Ceremonial prayer,” he wrote, “is but a recognition that, since this nation was founded and until the present day, many Americans deem that their own existence must be understood by precepts far beyond that authority of government to alter or define.”

In dissent, Justice Elena Kagan said the town’s practices could not be reconciled “with the First Amendment’s promise that every citizen, irrespective of her religion, owns an equal share of her government.”

Town officials in Greece, N.Y., near Rochester, said that members of all faiths, and atheists, were welcome to give the opening prayer. In practice, however, almost all of the chaplains were Christian. Some of their prayers were explicitly sectarian, with references, for instance, to “the saving sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross.”
How the fuck does an atheist lead a prayer?

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Because It's All A Game

Expectations among American Catholics were high for the pope’s first visit to the US. Those on the liberal wing of the church hoped that Francis would focus on his signature themes of poverty and climate change; conservative Catholics were looking for papal reinforcement of their opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage.

On the plane to Washington DC from Cuba, Francis sought to play down the notion that he was a leftwing pope. He told reporters he “may have given the impression of being a little more to the left, but it would not be a correct interpretation.” His doctrine was the doctrine of the church, he said: “Nothing more, nothing less.”

During his historic six-day trip, however, the pope’s words – accompanied by powerful symbolic gestures – are likely to have boosted liberal Catholics and disappointed conservatives. On the six key themes of his tour, the bottom-line score is a clear liberal win.
Unless you’re a woman of course.

Quote Of Note About The Pope - Martin Luther

"I feel much freer now that I am certain the pope is the Antichrist." - Martin Luther

How Many More Times? - 022

Should We Ignore The Crazies?

My objection was that if we—as consumers and producers and purveyors of news—decide that we will simply ignore the existence and arguments of every pundit, candidate, or religious dissenter to whom we object, it doesn’t in fact make them go away. It simply takes us out of the conversation.
To be sure, it’s not even fair to compare Coulter, Davis, and Trump. The first can rather easily be dismissed, and her racist followers are probably not going to change their minds. The second is a proxy for an important constitutional debate, and the latter is a front-runner for the GOP nomination. But the larger principle threading through all of this “ignore them” admonishment really worries me: that in a moment when capturing the news cycle is enough to make you a prominent national figure, the corrective is to shut off the news cycle, rather than engage in the debate.

Crazy Christian Religious Right Founding Fathers

I don't understand why the crazy Christian religious right think that the founding of the United States as a Christian nation is a good thing.

Prayer Power Play

Taxpayers fund Christian-focused Congressional prayer caucus:
When Pope Francis left the Capitol last week, prayer did not leave with him.

One night a week, the taxpayer-funded congressional Prayer Caucus meets in an ornate room in the U.S. Capitol to defend the role of (mostly) Christian faith and prayer in the U.S. government.

The caucus was created by Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., in 2005, and now includes about 90 members of the House, nearly all Republicans, one U.S. senator and one paid staff member.

“In addition to their commitment to putting aside political differences and uniting in prayer for our nation, members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus work together engaging the legislative process to protect free exercise for Americans of every faith or no faith,” Forbes said in a statement. “Some recent issues Prayer Caucus Members have engaged on include reinforcing religious freedom for all faiths in the military, supporting and protecting the autonomy of churches and faith based organizations, and working to ensure every American is free to live according to their beliefs without fear of punishment by the government.”
Because tax-exempt status is not enough.

Once again, I would prefer fact-based initiatives from our representatives in the government.

The crazy christians will always be afraid of "punishment by the government". Martyrdom sells. Could we please have more journalists standing up to the false meme of religious persecution in the United States?

I Like Number 23

23. "There would be less ignorance and more tolerance." (Alicia Aleman)

The Freedom To Read

Go to your local library and read a dirty book this week.

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read, Sept. 27 -  Oct. 3, 2015:

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community –- librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types –- in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

First observed in 1982, Banned Books Week reminds Americans not to take the freedom to read for granted.  Since 1990, the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom has received reports of 9,500 attempts to remove books deemed by some as inappropriate.
My guess is that the only people who would deem a book as inappropriate are religious people.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Dirty Frank's Mural

Where would Jesus have a beer? Probably at Dirty Frank's in Philadelphia, because the pope is on the wall.

Pope Francis forever grins over Philly’s ‘Gayborhood’:
There are a lot of famous Franks painted on the outside of Dirty Frank’s, a neighborhood bar and local landmark here.

And though Pope Francis left the city Sunday (Sept. 27), he will long grin over “the Gayborhood” — as Dirty Frank’s vicinity is sometimes called — in a mural alongside Frank Sinatra, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Frankenstein.

The mural became part of the city’s lively public art scene in 2001 when it was first painted by local artist David McShane. McShane added the pope to the mural just a few weeks before the pontiff’s arrival. (“Frank” is a common nickname for Americans named “Francis.”)

“I think there’s a humor involved in putting him on a place called Dirty Frank’s,” McShane said recently. He feels comfortable putting the pope alongside Frank Zappa and Aretha Franklin (who sang “Amazing Grace” for Francis during his Festival of Families event). And he doesn’t think it will be seen as disrespectful.
Also, Jesus can probably relate to Frankenstein.

Dumbass Quote Of Note - Carly Fiorina

"I actually believe that people of faith make better leaders." - Carly Fiorina

Quote Of Note - Massimo Pigliucci

"Simply pointing out that Islamic ideas play a role in contemporary terrorism and repression does not make one a Islamophobe, and using the label blindly is simply an undemocratic, and unreflective, way of cutting off critical discourse." - Massimo Pigliucci

Ridicule Religion Rationally

Religions are nothing but sets of ideas, and as such should be susceptible to discussion, criticism and even ridicule and satire. All the more so since candidates (both Republican and Democrat) often drag their faith into the public arena and boast about it, pander to religious blocs (and especially the evangelicals) for votes and cash, confer with religious leaders and (mostly where Republicans are concerned) base policy on precepts originating in religious texts (think reproductive rights, opposition to same-sex marriage, and right-to-die legislation).

In view of this, journalists should have long ago declared open season on religion. Interviewers should be hounding faith-flaunting candidates with hard-hitting questions, as they would on any other subject of import. They should disregard faith-based assertions and demand justification on evidentiary grounds. Politicians should be made uncomfortable for ignoring the worldview and concerns of rationalists.

Dumbass Quote Of Note - Mike Huckabee

"They can no more redefine the purpose of marriage then they can redefine the laws of gravity and say that we can all go floating everywhere we go and don’t need to take cars anymore. - Mike Huckabee

Quote Of Note About The Pope - George Carlin

"I have as much authority as the Pope, I just don't have as many people who believe it." - George Carlin

Chuck Norris Hears The Pope Say Things That No One Else Heard

Exclusive: Chuck Norris reveals facts mainstream media won't about pontiff's visit
My point here is not to argue whether the pope is liberal or conservative. It is to say, if one only listened to mainstream media, one would likely believe he was a liberal progressive. They would also overlook or ignore four key points the pontiff made in his speeches: for the defense of religious freedom, marriage and family, sanctity of human life, and against Islamic extremism.

How Many More Times? - 021

The Pope States The Obvious

On his last day in the U.S., Francis on Sunday met with five survivors of sexual abuse and issued a warning to bishops that they would be held accountable if they failed to protect their flocks.

"Those who covered this up are guilty," he said. "There are even some bishops who covered this up. It's something horrible."
Quick, someone say how wonderful he is.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Quote Of Note About The Pope - Jane Austen

"Real solemn history, I cannot be interested in.... The quarrels of popes and kings, with wars and pestilences in every page; the men all so good for nothing, and hardly any women at all." - Jane Austen

The more things change...

How Many More Times? - 020

How Many More Times? - 019

How Many More Times? - 018

How Many More Times? - 017

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Quote Of Note - George Carlin

"I'm completely in favor of the separation of Church and State. These two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death." - George Carlin

Quote Of Note About The Pope - Richard Russo

"Max would conclude, "that's who I want to be. The pope. And I'll do the same thing he does. I'll keep all the goddamn money." - Richard Russo

How Many More Times? - 016

Trigger This

There’s a saying common in education circles: Don’t teach students what to think; teach them how to think. The idea goes back at least as far as Socrates. Today, what we call the Socratic method is a way of teaching that fosters critical thinking, in part by encouraging students to question their own unexamined beliefs, as well as the received wisdom of those around them. Such questioning sometimes leads to discomfort, and even to anger, on the way to understanding.

But vindictive protectiveness teaches students to think in a very different way. It prepares them poorly for professional life, which often demands intellectual engagement with people and ideas one might find uncongenial or wrong. The harm may be more immediate, too. A campus culture devoted to policing speech and punishing speakers is likely to engender patterns of thought that are surprisingly similar to those long identified by cognitive behavioral therapists as causes of depression and anxiety. The new protectiveness may be teaching students to think pathologically.
Too many trigger warnings mean that nobody gets to say anything.

All Over The World

The United States Probably Has More Foreign Military Bases Than Any Other People, Nation, or Empire in History:

Like most Americans, for most of my life, I rarely thought about military bases. Scholar and former CIA consultant Chalmers Johnson described me well when he wrote in 2004, “As distinct from other peoples, most Americans do not recognize—or do not want to recognize—that the United States dominates the world through its military power. Due to government secrecy, our citizens are often ignorant of the fact that our garrisons encircle the planet.”

To the extent that Americans think about these bases at all, we generally assume they’re essential to national security and global peace. Our leaders have claimed as much since most of them were established during World War II and the early days of the Cold War. As a result, we consider the situation normal and accept that US military installations exist in staggering numbers in other countries, on other peoples’ land. On the other hand, the idea that there would be foreign bases on US soil is unthinkable.
We may think such bases have made us safer. In reality, they’ve helped lock us inside a permanently militarized society that has made all of us—everyone on this planet—less secure, damaging lives at home and abroad.
Meanwhile, the pope reiterates the Golden Rule and people fawn all over him in the country that does not practice it.

David Hume

How an 18th-Century Philosopher Helped Solve My Midlife Crisis:

But here’s Hume’s really great idea: Ultimately, the metaphysical foundations don’t matter. Experience is enough all by itself. What do you lose when you give up God or “reality” or even “I”? The moon is still just as bright; you can still predict that a falling glass will break, and you can still act to catch it; you can still feel compassion for the suffering of others. Science and work and morality remain intact. Go back to your backgammon game after your skeptical crisis, Hume wrote, and it will be exactly the same game.

In fact, if you let yourself think this way, your life might actually get better. Give up the prospect of life after death, and you will finally really appreciate life before it. Give up metaphysics, and you can concentrate on physics. Give up the idea of your precious, unique, irreplaceable self, and you might actually be more sympathetic to other people.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Dumbass Quote Of Note About The Pope - Bob Brady

"I took a sip out of it. How many people do you know that drank out of the same glass as the pope?" - Bob Brady

Quote Of Note About The Pope - Paul Ehrlich

"There is no competent scientist who would say there is not a problem with population growth. In other words, the pope is dead wrong. Here he is following an antique doctrine that it is impossible to change. I am sure he knows better, he is not a dope." - Paul Ehrlich

For Security Purposes

Police move homeless people off Philadelphia streets ahead of Pope Francis’ Mass:
As crowds move into the city for Pope Francis’ large public Mass on Sunday (Sept. 27), the homeless are heading out — part of a high-security lockdown forcing people off the streets.

The displacement of the homeless people comes amid the pope’s repeated calls for greater income equality and social inclusion of the poor.

He told members of Catholic Charities during his Washington, D.C., stop Thursday that there was “no justification whatsoever for lack of housing.”

Then the pope lunched with homeless people in the nation’s capital, forgoing an invitation to dine with members of Congress.

The Arguments Of The Blasphemer

Nothing Should Be Immune 
from Criticism:

Those who favor the punishment of expression critical of religious beliefs will sometimes refer to the right of believers not to be offended. But there is no such right. Obviously, as humanists we respect the worth and dignity of all persons, but that presupposes that we treat others as our equals and not condescend to them as though they were children who cannot accept criticism of their beliefs. Moreover, it is immediately obvious that if such a right were to be recognized, it would effectively prevent any critical examination of religious beliefs—which, of course, is the real goal of those who advocate for the spurious right not to be offended. Framing laws in terms of protecting religious sensibilities cannot obscure the fact that both the intent and effect of these laws is to protect majoritarian religious beliefs and punish dissent. To quote Robert Ingersoll, “The cry of blasphemy means only that the arguments of the blasphemer cannot be answered.”

Dumbass Quote Of Note About The Pope - Michael Savage

"The Pope is a Marxist. He is a wolf in pope’s clothing, he is an eco-wolf in pope’s clothing, he’s a stealth Marxist in religious garb. [He]sounds just like the false prophet in Revelation, an ecumenical spiritual figure directing mankind to worship the Antichrist. - Michael Savage

WTF? No Satanists?

The Wall needs repair.

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts:

Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to the President’s third Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships:
  •          Bishop Carroll A. Baltimore – Member, President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
  •          Preeta Bansal – Member, President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
  •          Reverend David Beckmann – Member, President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
  •          Kara Bobroff  – Member, President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
  •          Reverend Jennifer Butler – Member, President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
  •          Rabbi Steve Gutow – Member, President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
  •          Aziza Hasan – Member, President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
  •          Lanae Erickson Hatalsky – Member, President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
  •          David Jeffrey – Member, President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
  •          Dr. Jo Anne Lyon – Member, President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
  •          Pastor Michael McBride – Member, President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
  •          Nipun Mehta – Member, President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
  •          Kevin Ryan – Member, President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
  •          Reverend Dr. Gabriel A. Salguero – Member, President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
  •          Dr. Stephen Schneck – Member, President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
  •          Jasjit Singh – Member, President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
  •          Alexie Torres-Fleming – Member, President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
  •          Deborah Weinstein – Member, President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
The President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships brings together religious and secular leaders as well as scholars and experts in fields related to the work of faith-based and neighborhood organizations.The charge for this Council focuses on steps the government should take to reduce poverty and inequality and create opportunity for all, including changes in policies, programs, and practices that affect the delivery of services by faith-based and community organizations and the needs of low-income and other underserved persons.
I'd rather see Fact-Based initiatives.

Papal Persuasion

On the television recently I heard that the pope was going to St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York. They also mentioned that the cathedral had recently been renovated for 200 million dollars. My first thought was about all the Catholic churches and schools that have closed down because of a lack of parishioners, students, and money. My next thought was about the pope preaching about the poor and the needy and all of that. His words seem hypocritical, since the Catholic Church seems to favor spending money on buildings rather than people.

After that, I began thinking about all the things the pope says about climate change. Did they use renewable energy sources when they updated the heating units in St. Patrick's Cathedral? I don't know. I can't seem to find that information online.

I did find some other things:

Church of the Resurrection Benefits from Solar Energy:

Solis Partners has announced that it recently installed a 125-kilowatt ground-mounted solar array for the Church of the Resurrection in the Burlington County township of Delran, N.J. This project marks the fourth solar installation that Solis has completed within the Catholic Diocese of Trenton, which spans Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean counties.
Vatican installs solar panel roof:
Pope Benedict XVI has become the first pontiff to harness solar power to provide energy for the Vatican.

Roof tiles on the Paul VI auditorium - used in poor weather for the Pope's weekly audience with pilgrims - are being replaced by 2,700 solar panels.

The photovoltaic cells will convert sunlight into electricity, generating enough power to light, heat or cool the 6,000 seat hall, engineers say.

Conserving global resources has been a priority for the German-born Pope.
Will the U.S. Catholic Church Divest From Fossil Fuels and Buy Solar Panels Instead?:
Churches emit carbon dioxide just as most American buildings do.  If they are heated by coal, they may be emitting quite a lot of CO2.  Church leaders know this, and some are swinging into action.  Saint Eugene Catholic Church in North Asheville, NC, is putting 146 solar panels on the roof.  The panels will generate 22% of the church’s electricity.  Some 55% of North Carolina’s energy is generated by coal, which is extremely dirty and polluting.  34% is nuclear, which is low-carbon.  So this church is actually reducing its carbon emissions quite significantly.

Churches all over the country are doing the same thing Saint Eugene is, and their cumulative effect could be significant. If enough join in.  Studies have shown that solar panels are like yawning.  If a neighbor puts them on, you are more likely to do so, as well.  So, not only are the churches putting on panels, but that very act may encourage home-owning parishioners to do so as well.

Churches often also own vehicles, and they could go for electric ones or plug-in hybrids, another way of cutting down on their emissions.
We social scientists are more interested in what society actually does than in religious rhetoric.  We’ll be checking in.
Kudos to Catholics taking action with renewable energy.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Papal Pap

...much of the pope’s speech sounded humanistic. This is why a news magazine placed a photo of the pope on its current magazine cover, asking: “Is the Pope Catholic?”  This pope has been harder to criticize, sounding more like a real human being. And I think that’s the real danger — putting a pretty face on Catholic dogma, which has not budged.
But I thought his talk with full of papal pap for the most part. Who’s to argue with saying people should get along, care about the cycle of poverty and call the United States the “land of dreams”?
But it doesn’t really matter what the pope said during his joint address to Congress. Even had I or you agreed with everything the pope said, it was still unfitting, unprecedented, unconstitutional, that a religious figure was invited, for the first time in history, to make such remarks before a joint session of Congress.
What distresses me the most is the spectacle of a deferential and adoring Congress turning out and giving a standing ovation to a religious leader of such a powerful religion, the huge screens for onlookers outside, the governmental websites devoted to promoting the pope’s visit including devotional events — all of this put on by our secular government at taxpayer expense. The symbolism of our government united with the Catholic Church is the worst message.

Quote Of Note About The Pope - Christopher Hitchens

"My favorite time in the cycles of public life is the time when the Pope is dead and they haven't elected a new one. There's no one in the world who is infallible for those weeks. And you know, I don't miss it." - Christopher Hitchens

Dow Falls Because Of The Pope

The stock market is down so far today because many Christians have been distracted by the papal visit to the United States and have forgotten to pray for the market to go up.

Karl Marx And Howard Zinn

Back in 1999 Howard Zinn wrote a play about Karl Marx called Marx in Soho.

I decided to write a play about Marx. I made this decision after the fall of the Soviet Union because, after its fall, everyone thought that Marxism had died. So I tried to tell the US public: Marx is not dead and I am going to prove it by bringing him back to the scenario. From there I would teach this same public the difference between Stalinism and Marxism. I would remind them what Marxist criticism of capitalism consists of. I would demonstrate that these ideas have much to do about the US today. In other words, that Marxist criticism of capitalism is still exact and current today.
Perhaps in one out of every hundred universities there is a course on Marxism. There are many courses of political philosophy and perhaps a few days are set aside for Marx. Usually his ideas are not taught with exactness.
Marx In Soho:
Marx in Soho has often been produced. The play depicts Marx resurrected to defend the ideals of communism from the dehumanized version of it practiced in the former Soviet Union and to defend humanity from capitalism.
Zinn writes in his foreword that as early as 17, he had seen dramatic evidence "that the machinery of government was not neutral, that, despite its pretensions, it served the capitalist class.... My Communist friends brought me along with them to a demonstration in Times Square. Hundreds of people unfurled banners proclaiming opposition to war, opposition to Fascism, and marched along the street. I heard sirens. Mounted police charged the crowd. I was knocked unconscious by a plainclothes policeman. When I came to, as my head was clearing, I could only think one troubling thought: the police, the state, did the bidding of the holders of great wealth. How much freedom of speech and freedom of assembly you had depended on what class you were in."
Zinn was 17 in 1939, long before Occupy Wall Street and Zuccotti Park:
Police called in re-enforcements as more activists entered the park. Police tried to enter the park but were pushed back by protesters. There were reports of pepper-spray being used by the police. About 12:40 am after the group celebrated New Years in the park, they exited the park and marched down Broadway. Police in riot gear started to clear out the park around 1:30 am.
Howard Zinn described himself as a Democratic Socialist, just like Bernie Sanders does today.

Quote Of Note From The Pope - Pope Francis

"The media only writes about the sinners and the scandals, but that's normal, because a tree that falls makes more noise than a forest that grows." - Pope Francis

Catholic And Muslim

If your father is Muslim and your mother is Catholic, do you go to heaven?

'No matter how many good things you have done before you kick the bucket, if you are not a Muslim, then bad news for you. Even back then, I had a problem accepting that part of the religious teaching' 
Here is the thing, I was born into the Muslim tradition because my father is a Muslim man. However, that was not the only tradition that I was born into.

My mother is a Catholic woman, a devout one in my opinion. When I was very little, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents from my mother’s side. They had to babysit me a lot because both my parents were working back then.

Elizabeth Warren Late Show With Stephen Colbert

Elizabeth Warren was on the Late Show last night.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

God's Ears

Does God ever get wax build-up in his ears? Is that why prayers go unanswered sometimes? If this is true, why did God create wax?

Dumbass Quote Of Note - Gina Miller

"Whether it’s the communistic “global warming” agenda, the homosexualist agenda or even the lunatic “black lives matter” racist agenda, all these are heads of the same tyrannical hydra. They all seek to bring tyranny down on the American people." - Gina Miller

We Could Always Tax The Catholic Church

Pope Problems: Papal Visit Incurs Significant Taxpayer Expense:

Pope Francis has landed and American taxpayers are footing the bill.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the World Meeting of Families agreed on Friday to shoulder Philadelphia’s costs for hosting the pope. The Meeting is sponsored by the Holy See’s Pontifical Council for the Family and is held every three years in a different world city. This year, it’s located in Philadelphia.

“The contract is backdated Sept. 10 and states that the nonprofit was to have provided the city with a security deposit of $2.5 million on Sept. 14,” wrote the Inquirer’s Brian Moran. The fees will cover various police, emergency, sanitation, and other city services, as well as a license for a papal parade down public highways.

But taxpayers will also incur substantial costs for the pope’s American tour, which will include stops in Philadelphia, New York City, and Washington, D.C. For example, public funds will be used to pay for millions of dollars in security costs incurred by the Secret Service and other federal agencies.

At Fortune magazine, Michal Addady notes that the federal government typically foots the bill for D.C.’s security needs, but that there’s a real chance the $4.5 million annually budgeted for this purpose won’t be enough to cover the cost of the pope’s visit.
 I think this must be another example of evil atheists persecuting Christians.

The Cost Of Discipleship Award

As many predicted, Kim Davis is cashing in on her new role as a right-wing celebrity. The Family Research Council announced today that Davis will receive its “Cost of Discipleship Award” at the upcoming Values Voter Summit.

FRC head Tony Perkins has already compared Davis to the previous award winner, Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman who, unlike Davis, actually faced persecution for her faith, as she was arrested and imprisoned by Sudan’s government for converting to Christianity. Leading up to Ibrahim’s appearance at the FRC event, Perkins attempted to use her story to attack the Obama administration, even though her U.S. supporters actually thanked the State Department for working diligently to secure her release. An attorney working on Ibrahim’s case, who is also a Religious Right figure, criticized Perkins for his rhetoric.

In announcing the award, Perkins praised Davis for her “courage” in standing up to “militant secularists”.
Martyr? Is she dead?

I smell Martyr complex:
In psychology a person who has a martyr complex, sometimes associated with the term victim complex, desires the feeling of being a martyr for his/her own sake, seeking out suffering or persecution because it either feeds a psychological need, or a desire to avoid responsibility.

In some cases, this results from the belief that the martyr has been singled out for persecution because of exceptional ability or integrity.[1] Theologian Paul Johnson considers such beliefs a topic of concern for the mental health of clergy.[2] Other martyr complexes involve willful suffering in the name of love or duty. This has been observed in women, especially in poor families, as well as in codependent or abusive relationships.[3][4] It has also been described as a facet of Jewish-American folklore.[5]

The desire for martyrdom is sometimes considered a form of masochism.[6] Allan Berger, however, described it as one of several patterns of "pain/suffering seeking behavior", including asceticism and penance.[7]

Quote Of Note About The Pope - George Benard Shaw

"Why should we take advice on sex from the pope? If he knows anything about it, he shouldn't!" - George Bernard Shaw

In The First Place

The Christian Right’s shortsighted legal strategy actually promotes atheism and LGTBQ rights:
The Christian right and its legal defenders—each with a name Orwell’s Big Brother seems to have coined, Liberty Counsel, Alliance Defending Freedom, Liberty Institute, American Center for Law & Justice—haven’t considered the long-term implications of their legal strategies.

They fight to distribute bibles in public schools. If they win, that means the atheists can distribute their literature too, as FFRF did in Orange County (Fla.) public schools. And we can invite our friends at The Satanic Temple to distribute their literature too. When that happens, most people seem to agree that we should not use public schools as a religious recruiting ground. Funny, that’s what FFRF was saying in the first place.

They fight to keep a nativity scene up on public property. But the only way that might be approved by a court is to open a forum for everyone else’s display. So FFRF displays our Bill of Rights nativity and our friends display their Festivus pole made of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer cans. Or the government opens 21 spots for holiday displays, like the City of Santa Monica did, and atheists “hijack” 18 of the spots. And the next year all displays are removed—which we were arguing for in the first place.

They fight all the way to the Supreme Court twice—in 1983 and 2014—to be able to give overtly Christian invocations at government meetings. But when a Muslim or Satanist or an atheist give an opening prayer or remarks, they throw a hissy fit and walk out or they shut it down—again, what we argued for in the first place.

More Pope Stuff

Woman with brain tumors refused life-saving tubal ligation at Catholic hospitals:
And let us remember that although Pope Francis is a step up from his predecessors, his Church has done little more than lip service to truly reform Catholicism’s animus towards gays, women and population control. Although I believe that Francis is sincere in his concern for the plight of the poor, by refusing to sanction birth control (a refusal embodied in his encyclical against global warming), he perpetuates the very poverty he abhors.

Science Or The Pope?

Sometimes I get the impression that no one listens when scientists speak, and that everyone listens when the pope speaks. Why is the pope so important?

Scientists and Pope Francis agree that climate change is real and that it is a threat.

Pope Francis’s arrival in Washington on Tuesday has reinforced hopes that one of the last great bastions of climate change denial – the US Congress – may be on the verge of crumbling.

As the pope touched down in the US from Cuba, Democratic leaders in Congress and environmental campaigners were optimistic that Francis would keep the focus on his core themes of the global economic order, poverty and environmental degradation over the next six days, and so widen the emerging fractures in the Republican wall of denial.

Republicans, meanwhile, remained wary, and expressed hope that the pope would steer clear of controversial issues on his first visit to the US.

Sheldon Whitehouse, the Democratic senator from Rhode Island, said he believed the call to action from a popular pope made it increasingly difficult for Republicans to continue to dismiss the science on climate change. “I think this whole edifice of climate denial is crumbling,” Whitehouse told the Guardian.
Pope Francis Makes Biblical Case For Addressing Climate Change: ‘If We Destroy Creation, Creation Will Destroy Us’:
“Creation is not a property, which we can rule over at will; or, even less, is the property of only a few: Creation is a gift, it is a wonderful gift that God has given us, so that we care for it and we use it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude,” Francis said.

Francis also said that humanity’s destruction of the planet is a sinful act, likening it to self-idolatry.

“But when we exploit Creation we destroy the sign of God’s love for us, in destroying Creation we are saying to God: ‘I don’t like it! This is not good!’ ‘So what do you like?’ ‘I like myself!’ – Here, this is sin! Do you see?”
The scientific consensus is that the Earth's climate system is unequivocally warming, and that it is extremely likely (at least 95% probability) that humans are causing most of it through activities that increase concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as deforestation and burning fossil fuels.
97% of the scientists surveyed agreed that global temperatures had increased during the past 100 years; 84% said they personally believed human-induced warming was occurring, and 74% agreed that "currently available scientific evidence" substantiated its occurrence.
Do people pay more attention to what the pope says about this issue than the scientists? Does the media pay more attention to the pope on this issue? Do the politicians?

It's good that the pope is talking about this and that he is causing some people to think about the issue of climate change. I don't understand why people pay attention to him in general. I don't understand what makes him so special. I don't think that climate change is important because of what God thinks. I don't think that climate change makes us sinners.

I wish more people trusted the science. I wish more people paid less attention to the pope.

Bernie Sanders On Prisons

We Must End For-Profit Prisons:

The United States is experiencing a major human tragedy. We have more people in jail than any other country on earth, including Communist China, an authoritarian country four times our size.  The U.S. has less than five percent of the world’s population, yet we incarcerate about a quarter of its prisoners – some 2.2 million people.

There are many ways that we must go forward to address this tragedy.  One of them is to end the existence of the private for-profit prison industry which now makes millions from the incarceration of Americans.  These private prisons interfere with the administration of justice. And they’re driving inmate populations skyward by corrupting the political process.

No one, in my view, should be allowed to profit from putting more people behind bars – whether they’re inmates in jail or immigrants held in detention centers. In fact, I believe that private prisons shouldn’t be allowed to exist at all, which is why I’ve introduced legislation to eliminate them.
It’s wrong to profit from the imprisonment of human beings and the suffering of their friends and families. It’s time to end this morally repugnant practice, and along with it, the era of mass incarceration.

The Times They Are A-Changin'

Willie Nelson has just scored private equity backing.

Tuatara Capital, a New York-based private equity firm, has said it will lead an investor group that is financing the development of Nelson's namesake cannabis brand, Willie's Reserve.

Willie's Reserve is set to be grown, distributed and sold by local businesses in Colorado and Washington. The company plans further expansion as state laws change.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Quote Of Note About The Pope - George Burns

"The Pope's entrance was stunning. Maybe the Catholics know about miracles, and maybe they know about saints, but they've never received enough credit for what they know about show business." - George Burns

How Many More Times? - 015

Tony Perkins

Tony Perkins styles his group, the Family Research Council, as America’s premier defender of religious liberty … even though Perkins himself opposes religious freedom for Muslim-Americans (and perhaps even liberal Christians) and FRC’s vice president has proposed banning mosques and stripping Muslim-Americans of their First Amendment rights.

On his “Washington Watch” radio program yesterday, Perkins repeated his claim that Islam is not protected under the U.S. Constitution.
The only thing Perkins’ remarks truly reveal is that the Family Research Council is more interested in promoting bigoted attacks on minority rights than actually protecting religious freedom.

The United States And Iran

The former Republican Party has now become a "radical insurgency" that’s abandoned parliamentary politics. I’m quoting two highly respected, very conservative political commentators, Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein of the right-wing American Enterprise Institute. And in fact, they may succeed in increasing sanctions, and even secondary sanctions on other countries, and carry out other actions that could lead Iran to opt out of the deal with the United States—with the United States, that is. That, however, need not mean that the agreement is nullified. Contrary to the way it’s sometimes presented here, it’s not a U.S.-Iran agreement. It’s an agreement between Iran and what’s called P5+1, the five veto-holding members of the Security Council plus Germany. And the other participants might agree to proceed—Iran, as well. They would then join China and India, which have already been finding ways to evade the U.S. constraints on interactions with Iran. And in fact, if they do, they’ll join the large majority of the world’s population, the Non-Aligned Movement, which all along has vigorously supported Iran’s right to pursue its nuclear programs as a member of the NPT. But remember that they are not part of the international community. So when we say the international community opposes Iran’s policies or the international community does some other thing, that means the United States and anybody else who happens to be going along with it, so we can dismiss them. If others continue to honor the deal, which could happen, the United States will be isolated from the world, which is not an unfamiliar position.

George Orwell

Orwell is famous for his searching and sardonic critique of the way thought is controlled by force under totalitarian dystopia. But much less known is his discussion of how similar outcomes are achieved in free societies. He’s speaking, of course, of England. And he wrote that although the country is quite free, nevertheless unpopular ideas can be suppressed without the use of force. Gave a couple of examples, provided a few words of explanation, which were to the point. One particularly pertinent comment was his observation on a quality education in the best schools, where it is instilled into you that there are certain things that it simply wouldn’t do to say—or, we may add, even to think.

The Other Candidates

Well, actually, I think we should recognize that the other candidates are not that different. I mean, if you take a look at—just take a look at their views. You know, they tell you their views, and they’re astonishing. So just to keep to Iran, a couple of weeks ago, the two front-runners—they’re not the front-runners any longer—were Jeb Bush and Scott Walker. And they differed on Iran. Walker said we have to bomb Iran; when he gets elected, they’re going to bomb Iran immediately, the day he’s elected. Bush was a little—you know, he’s more serious: He said he’s going to wait 'til the first Cabinet meeting, and then they'll bomb Iran. I mean, this is just off the spectrum of not only international opinion, but even relative sanity.

The Most Irrational Of All The Conventions

Over the years, however, sexual abuse in the church burst into public view, along with a decades-long cover-up. And it must have occurred to many of those driving by daily — as it did to me — that the loony old man with the sign on Massachusetts Avenue had in fact been onto something true and profound.

Long before reporters at the Boston Globe and elsewhere exposed the church’s secret crime, Wojnowski had alerted thousands, if not millions, of Washington commuters to something seriously amiss; if a man felt wronged and ruined enough to make this his life’s work, you had to imagine that he wasn’t the only one. That was no small feat of public education, no matter how crudely accomplished.

These days, more passersby wave in admiration for Wojnowski than exhibit disdain. But there’s still plenty of the latter, too.

As we talked at one point, a man walked by, wearing a polo shirt with the Air Force Academy logo. He stopped to study the sign.

“Why do you call them cowards?” he demanded. “Why cowards?”

“They are cowards!” Wojnowski replied good-naturedly. He almost enjoys this kind of thing. “Are you Catholic?”

“I am — proudly!” the man said. “It’s nonsense. And the pope is going to be staying here. You should be respectful.”

Wojnowski said many Catholics had been silently abused.

“Do you know any man who doesn’t commit sin?” his interrogator asked. “And priests too? So what does that have to do with Catholicism?”

Another man, driving past a short time later, lowered his window to tell Wojnowski not to show up in the neighborhood when the pope was there. He said this in a way that suggested it was not the first warning, and it sounded vaguely menacing.

Dumbass Quote Of Note - Kim Davis

"They're not valid in God's eyes, for one, I have given no authority to write a marriage license. They did not have my permission, they did not have my authorization." - Kim Davis

Obama The Swindler

It is all precooked. Last month, Britain’s foreign secretary traveled to Tehran with an impressive delegation of British companies ready to deal. He was late, however. The Italian and French foreign ministers had already been there, accompanied by their own hungry businessmen and oil companies. Iran is back in business.
Britain’s foreign secretary, a delegation of British companies, Italian and French foreign ministers, hungry businessmen and oil companies all favored this deal, yet somehow it is only Obama who has swindled.

Dumbass Quote Of Note - Sarah Palin

"Perhaps if Obama stopped attacking Christians, people who question him could stop questioning whether he is one." - Sarah Palin

Biblical Unimportance

A revealing e-mail obtained exclusively by Vanity Fair suggests that some see Sarah Palin as a figure of biblical importance. She may even agree.

Sarah Palin has often suggested that she believes her rise to power is divinely ordained. She is, moreover, the only contemporary American politician whose admirers openly describe her as a modern-day version of a biblical character.

On the main pro-Palin blog, Conservatives4Palin, many postings contemplate Palin’s resemblance to Queen Esther, the eponymous hero of a short book in the Hebrew Bible. And Palin herself encourages the analogy. This past April, for instance, she told a Christian group in Louisville, Kentucky, that she often reads the book of Esther to her daughter Piper at bedtime.

Palin seems first to have gotten the idea that she might be a new Esther shortly after being elected governor in 2006, when she asked one of her former pastors for an example of biblical leadership that she could emulate. Quoting scripture, the pastor told Palin that she, like Esther, had “come to the Kingdom for such a time as this.”

Quote Of Note - Jeffrey Tayler

"The Bible is brimming with rank absurdities that insult our intelligence and affront our dignity as twenty-first-century, post-Enlightenment humans residing in one of the most developed countries on Earth." - Jeffrey Tayler

Quote Of Note - H.L. Mencken

"One of the most irrational of all the conventions of modern society is the one to the effect that religious opinions should be respected. …[This] convention protects them, and so they proceed with their blather unwhipped and almost unmolested, to the great damage of common sense and common decency. That they should have this immunity is an outrage. There is nothing in religious ideas, as a class, to lift them above other ideas. On the contrary, they are always dubious and often quite silly. Nor is there any visible intellectual dignity in theologians. Few of them know anything that is worth knowing, and not many of them are even honest." - H.L. Mencken

Christians Are Upset That The Pope Is Not A Big Deal To Atheists

Not everyone is pleased to have the Pope visiting America

Pope Francis is apparently a really nice guy and I’m not just saying that just because I’m Catholic. According to those incessant polls, without which none of us could ever come to any decisions whatsoever, Francis is one of the most respected individuals in the world, and nearly everyone here in New York City seems happy to have him here.

Except for the Grinches Who Stole Christianity, that is, for every party, including a papal party, needs a pooper. And two of the biggest poopers around have reared their ugly heads.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) and Americans United for Separation of Church and State are petulantly, and unsurprisingly, unhappy about everyone making a fuss about the Pope.
If the Grinches stole Christianity, where are they keeping it?

What follows is the usual concern from FFRF and AU about the separation of Church and State. The article closes with: "Be sure to keep them in your prayers, folks."

I'll be less passive-aggressive. I share Tim Minchin's thoughts about the pope:
Nothing is sacred. Ridicule religion until it goes away.

Jesus Would Yell "You're Fired"!

As one Pew Research Center study showed, the percentage of American Christians is on the decline, from 78.4 percent in 2007 to 70.6 percent in 2014, and the number of religiously unaffiliated Americans, including atheists, is steadily growing (from 16.1 percent to 22.8 percent in that same time).

In much of America, tolerance rules, but in some communities, especially in the Bible Belt, churches can still compel conformity in ways that make atheism a very costly choice. As we have followed the topic, we have met young people estranged from their families and others fired from their jobs. Perhaps most poignant for us are the people we’ve met who sit quietly in the pews every Sunday, pretending to share in a faith they do not have. The time we have spent with Mr. DeWitt has helped us to see that the freedom of religion we cherish in this country is meaningless — unless it is accompanied by an equally valid freedom from it.

Charles Darwin

A private letter in which Charles Darwin admits to being an atheist has sold for £125,000.

Charles Darwin is best known for groundbreaking work On The Origin of Species, which set out his theories on evolution and natural selection.

Unsurprisingly, due to the nature of these theories, the British naturalist was dogged by rumous and speculation as to his religious beliefs – of lack of them – however he always shied away from confirming his feelings either way.

Which is why the letter, which has just sold for an astonishing £125,000 at auction in New York, is so fascinating.

In it Darwin unequivocally states that he is an atheist, writing: ‘Dear Sir, I am sorry to have to inform you that I do not believe in the Bible as a divine revelation and therefore not in Jesus Christ as the son of God. Yours faithfully Ch. Darwin.’

Religious Weirdness About Nail Polish

One Friday afternoon, as I was settling down to listen to a sermon in my local mosque in Orange County, California, a woman leaned over to me and whispered that I needed to take my toenail polish off to properly complete ablutions. Many people believe that since water can’t touch nails because of the impermeable polish barrier, one can’t perform ablutions. Without successfully performed ablutions, my prayers would not be accepted.

My toenails have been a source of contention in mosques spanning the globe. I’ve been lectured on the moral ills of nail polish in languages I don’t understand. While I interpret lectures on ‘correct’ practices as policing, many women feel these corrections are religious and generational duties that contribute to community construction.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump is scheduled to be on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert tonight.

Monday, September 21, 2015


One must thus broaden the perspective: Refugees are the price of global economy. In our global world, commodities circulate freely, but not people: new forms of apartheid are emerging. The topic of porous walls, of the threat of being inundated by foreigners, is strictly immanent to global capitalism, it is an index of what is false about capitalist globalization. While large migrations are a constant feature of human history, their main cause in modern history are colonial expansions: Prior to colonization, the Global South mostly consisted of self-sufficient and relatively isolated local communities. It was colonial occupation and slave trading that threw this way of life off the rails and renewed large-scale migrations.

Jimmy Carter Deserves More Respect

As we are forced to listen to Donald Trump’s racist and misogynistic blarings about deporting undocumented immigrants and likening women to dogs, let’s cleanse ourselves by revisiting some of Jimmy Carter’s speeches.

“Ours is the party that welcomed generations of immigrants—the Jews, the Irish, the Italians, the Poles and all the others, enlisted them in its ranks and fought the political battles that helped bring them into the American mainstream,” Carter noted in his 1976 acceptance speech at the Democratic convention. He continued, with words that Bernie Sanders echoes today, “Too many have had to suffer at the hands of a political economic elite who have shaped decisions and never had to account for mistakes or to suffer from injustice. When unemployment prevails, they never stand in line looking for a job. When deprivation results from a confused and bewildering welfare system, they never do without food or clothing or a place to sleep. When the public schools are inferior or torn by strife, their children go to exclusive private schools. … An unfair tax structure serves their needs. And tight secrecy always seems to prevent reform.”

He went on to call for universal voter registration, a nationwide comprehensive health program for everyone and “a complete overhaul of our income tax system.” And little did he know how prescient this would be: “We can have an American government that does not oppress or spy on its own people but respects our dignity and our privacy and our right to be let alone.”

Quote Of Note - Michael Moore

"Ignorance is the most important ingredient of fear. And fear is the most important ingredient of hate. That's the equation." - Michael Moore

Quote Of Note - Michael Moore

"I'm saying something that doesn't get said in the United States, which is: "We lost the Vietnam War. We lost the Korean War. We lost the Gulf War." We've basically allowed the Pentagon and the right wing to define what winning a war means, but I think winning a war means that you defeat the bad guy on the other side and the bad guy is no longer in power. And that's not what happened in Korea. The analogy to that would be like if at the end of the American Civil War, Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis ran everything south of Maryland, and we claimed victory." - Michael Moore

The Republican Electorate And The Raging Marxists Over At Fortune

Why does the Republican electorate favor rich people?

Why would a poor or middle-class Republican voter want either Donald Trump or Carly Fiorina in the White House? Trump and Fiorina have no idea what it is like to live paycheck to paycheck. I don't understand why the 99% supports the 1%.

Carly Fiorina has risen from the Kids' Table debate to #2 in the polls behind Trump. It's not surprising that two successful businesspeople would top the list for a party that practically worships business prowess. Well they're two businesspeople, anyway. As the raging Marxists over at Fortune point out, Carly Fiorina was pretty much shit as the CEO of HP and in the decade since her firing nobody in the corporate world has touched her with a ten-foot pole. Trump, as everyone with the ability to read knows, has done literally nothing except inherit a large sum of money from his father and manipulate the U.S. bankruptcy code to his advantage. This raises a pertinent question about the Republican electorate: If they want to vote for businesspeople, can't they at least find one who wasn't a complete failure?
Failures as businesspeople, yet they are very rich failures.

Does anyone remember that George W. Bush was a failure at business before he was a failure at the Presidency?

Dumbass Quote Of Note - Jeb Bush

"Your political machine’s 9/11 ad is disgraceful. As a New Yorker you know the leadership my brother provided after 9/11." - Jeb Bush

Will Obama Kill The Pope?

White House Invites Several Opponents of Catholic Teaching to Greet Pope Francis:

President Obama will apparently test just how far Pope Francis’ notorious tolerance will go by inviting a rogue’s gallery of people opposed to Catholic teaching to greet the pontiff at the White House during his visit next week.

In a stunning show of political indecorum, Obama has invited a series of individuals who publicly flout Catholic teaching, including a pro-abortion religious sister, a transgender woman and the first openly gay Episcopal bishop, along with at least two Catholic gay activists.
Is the Pope so frail that he would be shocked to learn that the United States is not 100% Catholic, and that we haven't locked up all the queers?

If the internet existed back in the time of Jesus, would try to stop Jesus from talking to prostitutes?

Since when is equality improper?

Life Before The Federal Reserve

How The Federal Reserve Was Formed:

The United States was considerably more unstable financially before the creation of the Federal Reserve. Panics, seasonal cash crunches and a high rate of bank failures made the U.S. economy a riskier place for international and domestic investors to place their capital. The lack of dependable credit stunted growth in many sectors, including agriculture and industry.

How Many More Times? 014

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Exxon And Climate Change

Top executives were warned of possible catastrophe from greenhouse effect, then led efforts to block solutions.

Dumbass Quote Of Note - Justin Haskins

"The progressive movement, at its core, is not truly about helping people, equality, or compassion; it is all about control and revenge." - Justin Haskins

Feel The Bern

I thought Bernie Sanders did very well on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert last night.

Bernie Sanders Explains To Colbert Why He "Doesn't Want Billionaires' Money" On the Late Show:
"We are the richest country on earth", Sanders said. "We are the only wealthy country on earth that doesn't offer paid medical sick leave and people are asking 'why?'.

Colbert would go on to play "Capitalist Advocate" insisting that we became the wealthiest nation because of capitalism and that if we get rid of it we will become less wealthy. Sanders batted down the question by pointing out that he has no problem with entrepreneurship and innovation but was simply asking for greater fairness. The audience seem to eat it up as the Senator was interrupted by several applause breaks.

"But you don't take Super PAC money", Colbert pointed out. "If you want to be in it to win it, you got to use every tool in the chest... don't bring a spoon to a knife fight."

"I don't have a Super PAC because frankly I don't support the agenda of the billionaire class", Sanders said. "I don't want their money".
"Government, as I believe it should in this country, radical idea though it may be, should actually represent working people and the middle class rather than large campaign donors." - Bernie Sanders

Sanders wants free higher education and free health care. Imagine the United States economy with a smarter and healthier workforce.

Congress Is Supposed To Represent All Of Us

Here is the United States Congress (2001) farting upon the First Amendment and Thomas Jefferson:

Noam Chomsky Sums Up The Republican Party

Noam Chomsky describes the Republicans quite well.

It is important to bear in mind that the Republicans have long abandoned the pretence of functioning as a normal parliamentary party. Rather, they have become a “radical insurgency” that scarcely seeks to participate in normal parliamentary politics, as observed by the respected conservative political commentator Norman Ornstein of the right-wing American Enterprise Institute. Since Ronald Reagan, the leadership has plunged so far into the pockets of the very rich and the corporate sector that they can attract votes only by mobilising sectors of the population that have not previously been an organised political force, among them extremist evangelical Christians, now probably the majority of Republican voters; remnants of the former slave-holding States; nativists who are terrified that “they” are taking our white Christian Anglo-Saxon country away from us; and others who turn the Republican primaries into spectacles remote from the mainstream of modern society—though not the mainstream of the most powerful country in world history.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders is scheduled to be on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert tonight.

David Letterman

David Letterman has a new hosting gig – of sorts.

The veteran late-night comedian will in 2016 journey to India to examine how that nation is trying to bring solar power to its entire population within the next decade. It’s a far cry from rattling off the popular Top Ten Lists and Stupid Pet Tricks that were so much a part of his more than three decades of wee-hours television for CBS and NBC. But it’s a chance for Letterman to give voice to the issue of climate change on a new, albeit temporary, home: National Geographic Channel.
David Gelber and Joel Bach, the series’ producers, said they thought they noticed Letterman become more animated on “The Late Show” when discussion of climate change came to the fore, and decided to reach out to him. “You could just tell. Whenever they would have a climate discussion, he would really kind of perk up,” noted Bach, in an interview. “And it turns out he does, he cares about it a lot,” he said. “He’s definitely invested in this issue.”