Sunday, March 28, 2010

Open Letter On Hypocrisy

I love finding examples of the hypocrisy in our political discussion mainly because they are so prevalent and easily found. In fact one of my many past blogging projects was called "Politics and Hypocrisy" so this open letter from American Dad written to Conservatives was right up my alley.

You can't flip out -- and threaten impeachment - when Dems use a parliamentary procedure (deem and pass) that you used repeatedly (more than 35 times in just one session and more than 100 times in all!), that's centuries old and which the courts have supported. Especially when your leaders admit it all.
You can't vote and scream against the stimulus package and then take credit for the good it's done in your own district (happily handing out enormous checks representing money that you voted against, is especially ugly) --  114 of you (at last count) did just that -- and it's even worse when you secretly beg for more.
You can't fight against your own ideas just because the Dem president endorses your proposal.
You can't call for a pay-as-you-go policy, and then vote against your own ideas.
Are they "unlawful enemy combatants" or are they "prisoners of war" at Gitmo? You can't have it both ways.
You can't carry on about the evils of government spending when your family has accepted more than a quarter-million dollars in government handouts.
You can't refuse to go to a scheduled meeting, to which you were invited, and then blame the Dems because they didn't meet with you.
You can't rail against using teleprompters while using teleprompters. Repeatedly.
You can't rail against the bank bailouts when you supported them as they were happening.
You can't be for immigration reform, then against it .
You can't enjoy socialized medicine while condemning it.
You can't flip out when the black president puts his feet on the presidential desk when you were silent about white presidents doing the same.  Bush.  Ford.
You can't complain that the president hasn't closed Gitmo yet when you've campaigned to keep Gitmo open.
There is quite a bit more to be found in American Dad's post but I am sure you get the idea.

(h/t Unreasonable Faith)

Monday, March 22, 2010

What To Expect

If you can suspend your anger and outrage for just a few minutes, the New York Times has an early look at what the new health care bill will likely mean to you now and going forward.

Grow A Pair

So now it is official. The House passed health care reform, the gloom and doom predictors are in fine form, and all I plan on saying for the moment is that the Democrats now own this (though you and I and our kids will be paying the bill) and going forward will have to answer to the consequences good or bad.

The one question I have from the process that came to a head last night is whether the as of yet unnamed Republican Congressman whom yelled out "baby killer" to staunch pro-life Democrat Bart Stupak will have the balls to own up to his comment? Early conjecture has the comment coming from someone from the Texas delegation which given the state's current state of wingnut affairs wouldn't be a surprise.

Come on now we are waiting...Joe Wilson needs someone to join his diarrhea of the mouth club.

UPDATE: Texas Rep. Randy Neugebauer was apparently the member who shouted "baby killer" during the House session last night.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

More Racist, Homophobic Tea Party Fun

Some in South Dakota's blogosphere and political world take pride in their support of the Tea Party movement going so far as to call it an attempt to get America back to it's roots in the past. Lately though the biggest part of that past they seem to be shooting for is the homophobic and racist part.
On Saturday, as a small group of protesters jammed the Capitol and the streets around it, the movement's origins in white resistance to the Civil Rights Movement was impossible to ignore. Here's only what the mainstream media is reporting, ignoring what I'm seeing on Twitter and left wing blogs:
  • Civil rights hero Rep. John Lewis was taunted by tea partiers who chanted "nigger" at least 15 times, according to the Associated Press (we are not cleaning up language and using "the N-word" here because it's really important to understand what was said.) First reported on The Hill blog (no hotbed of left-wing fervor), the stories of Lewis being called "nigger" were confirmed by Lewis spokeswoman Brenda Jones and Democratic Rep. Andre Carson, who was walking with Lewis. "It was like going into the time machine with John Lewis," said Carson, a former police officer. "He said it reminded him of another time."
  • Another Congressional Black Caucus leader, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, was spat upon by protesters. The culprit was arrested, but Cleaver declined to press charges.
  • House Majority Whip James Clybourn told reporters: "I heard people saying things today that I have not heard since March 15, 1960, when I was marching to try to get off the back of the bus."
  • There were many reports that Rep. Barney Frank was called a "faggot" by protesters, but the one I saw personally was by CNN's Dana Bash, who seemed rattled by the tea party fury. Frank told AP: "It's a mob mentality that doesn't work politically."
  • Meanwhile, a brick came through the window at Rep. Louise Slaughter's Niagara Falls office on Saturday (the day she argued for her "Slaughter solution" to pass health care reform, though it was rejected by other Democrats on the House Rules Committee).
Makes one wonder whether attendees at these rallies should be bringing their own white sheets or if maybe they will start providing them for you free of charge when you arrive.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Tea Party Way

More from the Tea Partiers. This time it's their latest solution for stopping heath care reform and they even figured a way to get gun rights involved... (via Think Progress)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Jon Stewart Looks In On The Texas Board Of Education

Pay attention, this is how what goes into our children's text books gets determined...

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Tea Partiers Show Their Softer Side?

Tea partiers in Ohio meet an apparent Parkinson's disease sufferer at a recent tea party rally.

It's OK, The Bible Said He Could

You gotta love those crazy bible thumpers who will usually find some sort of Biblical justification for just about any demented thing they do. A 58 year old Minnesota man did when he used the "good book" to justify his "marriage" and continued molestation of a 10 year old girl.
A 58-year-old man accused of sexually abusing a female relative for nearly a decade after she was placed in his care believes the Bible gave him the right to make the girl his "wife" when she was 10 years old, police said Monday.

James Wallace Fall, of Mound, "married" the girl during a family trip to Yellowstone National Park in 2000, after she and her two brothers went to live with Fall and his wife, Rosemary Fall, according to police. The children's father had died, and their mother was deemed unfit to care for them, police said.

Fall molested the girl for the first time during that trip, and he said they were married, Mound police detective Jami Wittke told The Associated Press on Monday.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Heath Care Reform And Conspiracy Theories

First let me re-state again that I don't think the government should be getting in the health care business. Putting any Constitutional questions aside, the old saying involving screwing up a wet dream comes to mind whenever "large social program" and "government run" are used in the same sentence. With that being said, once the Democrats decided to work to get health care reform done, the conspiracy theories started coming out of the woodwork from all directions in an attempt to derail it.

The first real whopper came from our favorite dingbat Sarah Palin's Facebook page. It intimated that Obamacare (I really hate that term) would form government run death panels whose sole purpose would be to choose whether grandma or grandpa would get the lifesaving treatments they needed. Of course that wasn't true nor did she criticize the current state of health care were insurance companies already have that job but you get the idea.

The latest conspiracy theory involves the always controversial subject of abortion and Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak's attempt to ensure that any government run heath care package not include paying for the procedure. You would expect that the possibility of any pro-lifer's tax dollars being used to fund abortions would understandably be a deal breaker for them and in an effort to make sure that everyone else would be against it as well, they took statements from Stupak himself and twisted them into their latest conspiracy.

According to some, the real reason the Democrats don't want to add the Stupak amendment to any heath care reform package has nothing to do with the fact that abortion is a legal and often medically necessary procedure but is something else altogether. These folks want you to believe that the reason Democrats really don't want to ban abortion funding is because abortions are a cheaper option than forcing someone to carry to full term all these children that would subsequently be born with health issues. You know, the always popular procedure made (in)famous by the Nazi's, Eugenics.
In order to be effective, a policy of using abortion as a cost-cutting measure would have to aim at preventing the birth of babies with such pre-existing conditions. The goal would be not a reduction in the number of babies, but an “improvement” in the “quality” (narrowly defined in economic terms) of the babies who are born. This is known as eugenics.
Wow, who would who would have known that all the "Obama is a Nazi" rhetoric was so true and that Roe v. Wade decision was actually an attempt by the radical left wing Supreme Court to kill off all the undesirables? Where is Jesse Ventura when you need him?

UPDATE: Just an aside to this. Nothing in the Senate version of the healthcare bill would allow for federally funded abortions other than those limited cases currently allowed by the Hyde Amendment but of course very few people are mentioning this especially among those playing the eugenics card.

(As always, a tip of the hat to Dakota Voice for providing me with all the wingnut news fit to print exposing this latest pernicious lie)

Christoper Hitchens Updates The 10 Commandments

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Latest Flick From Convicted Pedofile

I see the latest movie from fugitive and convicted pedofile/child rapist Roman Polansky is gearing up the publicity machine though I am willing to bet that he skipped the US premier of "Ghost Writer" in February in light of the fact that he has a prison term waiting for him if he ever again sets foot in the US. The real question is whether anyone, other than Hollywood types still holding out hope for work in his movies (and Whoppi Goldberg who has a problem defining rape), will be willing to put money in this predator's pocket by actually going to see it?

If for some reason you are planning to go (or have gone) I would really love to hear why in the comments section.

Florida Rep Alan Grayson Responds To Palin

Half term empty suit Sarah Palin was in Florida recently using up more of her 15 minutes stumping for Republican candidates and ripping Florida Democratic House Member Alan Grayson. Among other things she commented that what should be said about Grayson couldn't be said in front of children.

Grayson has responded:
In response to Palin's attack on Rep Grayson, Grayson actually complimented Palin. Grayson praised Palin for having a hand large enough to fit Grayson's entire name on it.
I look forward to an honest debate with Governor Palin on the issues, in the unlikely event that she ever learns anything about them
Not very folksy of Grayson was it? True and funny but definitely not folksy...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Religion Has Too Much Going For It

What, did I just say that? Let me explain.

I normally don't post comments on other blogs especially in our local blogosphere as almost always my Atheism becomes the topic no matter what the subject of the original post might be. For example I might have in the past called into question a particular opinion on heath care or the economy and almost immediately some anonymous commenter will chime in with something like "who cares what you think because you hate Christians".

Well this weekend I broke my own golden rule when I got into a debate in the comments section of Cory's Madville Times blog with another local blogger that I normally just ignore. I ignore him mainly because nothing I say would ever convince him of the merits of my position and his idea of debating an issue is to basically call you a poopie head and then wonder aloud how you could be so stupid as to not see how his worldview is the only one there should be. He hurled his standard you are a gay loving, Christian hating, anti-American Liberal Marxist lines at me at every turn and suffice it to say each time I responded he lured me back in with more of the same despite my knowing better. This back and forth again got me to thinking, why do I bother arguing against a religious fundamentalist worldview that has so much going for it?

An Atheist will likely tell you that admitting that they don't believe in a higher power is not an easy decision. Coming to the conclusion that there is no God immediately removes all the crutches that Religion relies on to get butts in the pews (and dollars in the collection plate) as well as removing the hope of an afterlife that gets some through their sometimes pathetic worldly life. For example, just about everyone fears death. An Atheist knows that once death happens that's it, while believers are told that as long as you are faithful and follow the rules written by some medieval Jerry Falwell (or is it Fred Phelps?) types a few thousand years ago, you go to some wonderfully magical place to spend an eternity full of joy and love. How could one possibly be against that?

An Atheist knows that if he were to kill someone, he would likely end up in jail for most if not all the rest of his life. A person of faith believes that killing someone could bring them a worldly life in jail followed by an eternity of damnation unless they say they are really truly sorry. The exception of course is if the person murdered is a non-believer which then brings one praise and an eternity with 72 virgins. How can one be against that? Isn't life in prison and eternal damnation a more effective deterrent? (Maybe we could ask the statistically higher per capita Christian prison population?)

Finally how can one effectively argue against something that allays ones biggest fears in life and explains what we cannot yet explain so simply by just invoking the "God did it" card? Heck we all know the Earth is flat and that Zeus has our backs so why worry!

Again I should have known better, how can you argue against blind faith...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sunday Funnies: The Gospel According To The Texas Board Of Education

(Via The Houston Chronicle's Nick Anderson)

The Stench From Child Abuse Scandal Coming Closer To The Pope

So if the Vatican's chief exorcist blames the Catholic Priest child abuse scandal on the "devil being at work in the Vatican", what does it mean if the Pope was quite possibly involved with covering it up?
A widening child sexual abuse inquiry in Europe has landed at the doorstep of Pope Benedict XVI, as a senior church official acknowledged Friday that a German archdiocese made “serious mistakes” in handling an abuse case while the pope served as its archbishop.
I am still amazed that after 70 plus years of atrocities (that we are aware of) and estimates as high as $2 billion in church funds spent hiding, fighting, and paying off victims, that Catholics haven't said they've had enough. Catholics tread through child sex scandal after child sex scandal involving their leaders and seemingly don't bat an eye while Lutheran's go berserk to the point of leaving the church when their leaders vote to allow non-celibate gays to serve as pastors.

Quite an interesting look at religion and the various faiths if you think about it. 

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Devil Made Them Do It

For all this time I stupidly thought that it was the Catholic Church's outright disdain for homosexuals, their beliefs that Priests (or gays) should not be married, and their attempts to sweep under the rug known instances of Priest abuses against children that led to the ever increasing number of child abuse atrocities. The Vatican's "chief exorcist" sets me straight.
Sex abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church are proof that that "the Devil is at work inside the Vatican", according to the Holy See's chief exorcist.

Father Gabriele Amorth, 85, who has been the Vatican's chief exorcist for 25 years and says he has dealt with 70,000 cases of demonic possession, said that the consequences of satanic infiltration included power struggles at the Vatican as well as "cardinals who do not believe in Jesus, and bishops who are linked to the Demon".

Saturday, March 6, 2010

New Toyota Simulator

Click here to try it out

(Via Dvorak Online)

Chat Roulette

The media has been a buzz recently over a fairly new "social media" site supposedly started by a 17 year old Russian kid. The site called Chat Roulette mixes the old school type messenger program with your web cam to allow you to anonymously meet people over video chat and when you get bored you just hit next and go on to the next randomly chosen person.

Of course this is a idea great for the pervs to exploit and makes for a perfect story for Jon Stewart to look into.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Former Presidents Advise Obama

Funny or Die has produced a video bringing together former and current Saturday Night Live stars reprising their Presidential roles plus a visit by Jim Carey as Ron Reagan. The video pokes fun at the current and former Presidents who attempt to give advice to Obama on the importance of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

When Words Are Just Words

Yesterday I wondered where the outrage was from the Tea Party "Constitutional scholars" whom were strangely silent after 3 of the more intrusive provisions of the Patriot Act were renewed by Congress. I would be remiss though by not also voicing my displeasure at Barack Obama over this as just being approved by Congress didn't mean that the provisions would get renewed. President Obama also had to sign the legislation which for some reason he did on Saturday not 3 years removed from this statement on the Patriot Act:
This is legislation that puts our own Justice Department above the law. When National Security Letters are issued, they allow federal agents to conduct any search on any American, no matter how extensive or wide-ranging, without ever going before a judge to prove that the search is necessary.

Stupid Headline Alert

My old home town paper, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, had an interesting headline this afternoon about an intra-squad game the Cleveland Indians played today in Arizona.

They have since changed the headline but it does make one ask the question, how does one not win a game you play against yourself?

Though i guess if there was a way, the Indians would find it...

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Silence Is Deafening

While Tea Party members continue to rail against heath care reform often citing Constitutionality concerns (despite strangely remaining silent on Medicare and Medicaid), real threats to the Constitution continue to be ignored by these same "Constitutional scholars" people. The latest happened just last week when Congress voted to renew 3 expiring provisions of the Patriot Act which among other things, allows "John Doe" wiretaps of individuals with no ties to terrorism and warrantless access to private records.
Yesterday evening, the U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to renew three expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act, after the Senate abandoned the PATRIOT reform effort and approved the extension by a voice vote on Wednesday night.

Disappointingly, the government's dangerously broad authority to conduct roving wiretaps of unspecified or "John Doe" targets, to secretly wiretap of persons without any connection to terrorists or spies under the so-called "lone wolf" provision, and to secretly access a wide range of private business records without warrants under PATRIOT Section 215 were all renewed without any new checks and balances to prevent abuse. Despite months of vigorous debate, when PATRIOT renewal bills providing for greater oversight and accountability were approved by the Judiciary Committees of both the House and the Senate, Democratic leaders' push for reform fizzled in the face of staunch Republican opposition buoyed by recent hot-button events such as the attempted bombing of an airliner on Christmas Day and the shooting at Fort Hood.
4th Amendment anyone? Democrats, Republicans, McFly, anyone?

Liberals And Atheists Have Higher IQ's On Average

So says a soon to be published study.
Evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa at the the London School of Economics and Political Science correlated data on these behaviors with IQ from a large national U.S. sample and found that, on average, people who identified as liberal and atheist had higher IQs. This applied also to sexual exclusivity in men, but not in women. The findings will be published in the March 2010 issue of Social Psychology Quarterly.

The IQ differences, while statistically significant, are not stunning -- on the order of 6 to 11 points -- and the data should not be used to stereotype or make assumptions about people, experts say. But they show how certain patterns of identifying with particular ideologies develop, and how some people's behaviors come to be.

The reasoning is that sexual exclusivity in men, liberalism and atheism all go against what would be expected given humans' evolutionary past. In other words, none of these traits would have benefited our early human ancestors, but higher intelligence may be associated with them.