Gervais Hosts The Golden Globes

Noted Atheist and comedian Ricky Gervais hosted the Golden Globes Sunday night and I am guessing next year’s awards will not be featuring him. Firstly he pulled no punches while roasting some of Hollywood’s biggest and brightest throughout the show including Charlie Sheen, Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Cher, the entire cast of Sex and the City 2, Scientology, Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Hugh Hefner, etc. Watch:

And in his closing he likely pissed off some of the most humorless among us (besides the Hollywood elite), you know who you are, with the line “And thank you to god. For making me an Atheist.

Almost makes me sorry that I didn’t tune in…almost.

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What 4th Amendment?

While most were rushing to protect their 2nd Amendment rights against non-existent threats last week in the wake of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting, the California Supreme Court issued a ruling that further erodes what is left of our 4th Amendment rights and we hardly blinked.

In California’s People v Diaz (pdf), it was determined that the police had not violated the defendant’s rights by searching the text message folder of his phone without a warrant ruling that it was “valid as being incident to a lawful custodial arrest“.

We granted review in this case to decide whether the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution permits law enforcement officers, approximately 90 minutes after lawfully arresting a suspect and transporting him to a detention facility, to conduct a warrantless search of the text message folder of a cell phone they take from his person after the arrest. We hold that, under the United States Supreme Court?s binding recedent, such a search is valid as being incident to a lawful custodial arrest. We affirm the Court of Appeal?s judgment.

Until recently, legal warrantless searches had been limited under common law to those that focused on weapons concealment or destruction of evidence such as looking for items that could harm law enforcement personnel but with this ruling we have continued to slide down the proverbial slippery slope started a few years ago during the restructuring of FISA. Under FISA the government had already been granted wide latitude to listen in on our phone calls without first getting warrants and now they can search your phones. So what’s next?

Never bothered to pattern or code lock your smart phone? Maybe its time as I still think the 5th Amendment is still valid…

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Civility Project Halted Due To Lack Of Civility

The 2 year old Civility Project, started in 2008 by Conservative Republican Mark DeMoss and Liberal Democrat Lanny Davis is being shut down due to a lack of interest. The project’s only aim was “to call people from all races, walks of life, and religious and political beliefs to graciousness, kindness, and civility toward all people, especially between those with whom we may disagree“.

The founders decided to shut it down after the civility pledge they sent to every member of Congress and to every sitting governor was signed by a grand total of 3 people. Topping it off, not only did only 3 officials sign it, DeMoss became the object of personal attacks because of it.

“Perhaps one of the most surprising results of this project has been the tone and language used by many of those posting comments on our website and following articles on various media websites about the project,” his letter said.

“Many of them could not be printed or spoken in public media due to vulgar language and vicious personal attacks,” the letter continued. “Sadly, a majority of these came from fellow conservatives.”

Quite ironic…

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Death, Taxes, And…

As the old saying goes, there are few certainties in life besides death and taxes. One of those few though happens shortly after a mass conflagration like the happenings in Arizona over the weekend.

People either call for stricter gun laws or they respond by putting more guns into circulation.

Greg Wolff, the owner of two Arizona gun shops, told his manager to get ready for a stampede of new customers after a Glock-wielding gunman killed six people at a Tucson shopping center on Jan. 8.

Wolff was right. Instead of hurting sales, the massacre had the $499 semi-automatic pistols — popular with police, sport shooters and gangsters — flying out the doors of his Glockmeister stores in Mesa and Phoenix.

American capitalism at work and as predictable as death and taxes.

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Your Tax Dollars At Work

Fresh off being taken to the woodshed during a Congressional hearing for throwing a huge shindig, AIG, recipients of $85 billion of your money, plans their next get together on our dime.

American International Group Inc., castigated by the White House, Congress and Barack Obama for hosting a $440,000 conference days after an $85 billion federal bailout, plans to hold another gathering for brokers next week.

The event, at the Ritz-Carlton in California’s Half Moon Bay, aims to “motivate and educate” about 150 independent agents who sell AIG coverage to high-end clients, said spokesman Nicholas Ashooh.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino today called “despicable” expenses from the first gathering, a weeklong conference last month at the St. Regis Resort in Monarch Beach. Those costs included $23,000 for spa services, according to Representative Henry Waxman, chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

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Wingnut Logic

I am still trying to grasp that whole “if you allow gays to marry you are infringing on my religious rights” thing but the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins takes it even farther. While speaking out against California’s gay marriage laws, he tells his flock about comments from a Pastor friend that intimates that allowing gay marriage will result in the “faithful” being jailed.

California Pastor Warns of Threat to Religious Freedom – FRC national campaign to defend marriage needs your immediate support
If marriage loses, religious liberty is next
September 23, 2008 | Refer a Friend

Dear XXXX,

I want you to hear something a California pastor said to me recently:

“If we lose, we go to jail.”

It’s just that simple, says Pastor Jim Garlow-if marriage loses in California, religious liberties everywhere will be next.

Family Research Council has been pouring resources into a national campaign to defend marriage and religious freedom, and . . .

I’m writing today to ask you again to stand with us. We still must raise $600,000 before the close of our fiscal year on September 30.

I know many Americans are feeling the pinch of a tight economy. As you prayerfully consider a gift, rest assured that FRC carefully stewards every dollar you give to the defense of marriage, religious freedom, parental rights, and human life.

The stakes are enormous. We face a national menace to religious liberty:

* In Boston, a Christian adoption agency was shut down for refusing to place orphans with homosexual couples.
* In New Mexico, a Christian-owned studio was fined more than $6,000 for refusing to photograph a lesbian commitment ceremony.
* In San Francisco, the city council officially condemned Christian opposition to homosexual adoption as hateful and discriminatory rhetoric.

By God’s grace and with your help, we can win this fight.

FRC has been protecting marriage during its 25-year history, and we’ve been voicing your values ever since activist judges in Massachusetts and California legalized counterfeit marriage and triggered a national debate.

Your prayers and generosity are enabling FRC to use our national platform to make the forceful case for traditional marriage in the media, in the churches, and at the grassroots.

In less than two months, voters in California, Florida, and Arizona will have the chance to place marriage out of the reach of activists and liberals.

Twenty-six states already have constitutional protections for marriage.

We pray that California, Florida, and Arizona will be added to that list once voters learn the truth about the lies the Left uses to justify counterfeit marriage.

The fight for marriage in the states is our first priority.

But we can’t take our eye off Washington, D.C. politicians. Your support is vital as we stand up to liberals who want to criminalize your religious speech . . . threaten the religious liberties of employers . . . silence conservative and Christian broadcasting . . . raise taxes . . . and impose taxpayer funding of abortion and embryonic stem cell research.

Thank you for sacrificially giving whatever you can at this critical moment for faith, family, and freedom in America.

FRC national campaign to defend marriage needs your immediate support

Standing (Ephesians 6:13),

Tony Perkins
President

P.S. Please forward this e-mail to a friend.

Family Research Council: 801 G Street N.W. Washington, D.C. 20001
P: 202/393-2100 or 800/225-4008

Sounds an awful lot like the standard NRA scare tactic talking point that goes something like “if you ban semi-automatic assault rifles what is to stop you from banning gun ownership altogether“, only crazier.

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$700,000,000,000

$700,000,000,000!

I am not sure what else to add but I bet Congress will find something and of course that only includes bailing out the banks and brokerage houses that thought giving $500,000 loans to minimum wage fry cooks was a prudent business decision. I would image that if we give it a few days the Democrats will add another $100 billion or so to bailout the fry cooks as well.

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Attack The Messenger, Karl Rove Edition

The liberal blogs have been all over John McCain and Sarah Palin for telling some whoppers during the campaign. It has recently gotten so bad that even that darn liberal media has finally started taking notice of the half truths and bedtime stories coming from the McCain camp.

Of course we all know that a rightie’s blind faith in the Grand Old Party prevents them from ever considering that their guy/gal might be less than truthful so they instead do their best to look the other way or come up with some whoppers of their own to explain away the inconsistencies. This has been the political world that we lived in until recently when several non-partisan fact checking organizations have sprouted up to try and get around the spin that comes from both sides.

Now that these groups are also now calling BS on much of the BS coming from the McCain/Palin camp, the GOP spin machine led by their leader, Karl Rove, has had to go into full attack mode. And Fox News is more than happy to let their recently minted “political commentatorgo on the offensive.

But on Fox News Sunday today, former Bush political adviser Karl Rove dismissed the organizations, claiming that “they’ve got their own biases built in there.” “You can’t trust the fact-check organizations,” said Rove

While Rove did concede that McCain might have gone too far at times (which is amazing in it’s own right), he stopped short of saying that McCain didn’t tell the truth because in Rove’s world, we could never let the facts get in the way of McCain and Palin’s mission.

Saying otherwise would be sexist and unpatriotic.

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Ollie North?

Ever since our military attacked Azizabad, Afghanistan on August 22nd, numerous groups including the United Nations and human rights organizations have claimed that up to 90 civilians were killed. Also since August 22nd, our military has disputed the number of civilian deaths instead claiming that no more than 7 might have died.

Finally yesterday the military admitted that the scores of witnesses and other evidence could mean that the higher civilian death toll might be accurate. While that thought is horrible, what makes it even worse is who they used to corroborate their initial denials, the one and only Fox News correspondent Oliver North.

The US military said that its findings were corroborated by an independent journalist embedded with the US force. He was named as the Fox News correspondent Oliver North, who came to prominence in the 1980s Iran-Contra affair, when he was an army colonel.

So we are being accused of killing almost 100 civilians during one of our military operations and we use the word of Iran Contra front man Ollie North for death toll corroboration?

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Pit Bull With Lipstick

Remember that line from Sarah Palin’s speech at the RNC about the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull that so energized the troops? It seems that it isn’t the first time someone associated with John McCain has used a similar phrase though in slightly different context.

Do you remember controversial pastor John Hagee, you know the guy that John McCain put on the gold plated pandering knee pads in order to get his endorsement? Well he also said something very similar in his book “What Every Man Wants in a Woman”.

Do you know the difference between a woman with PMS and a snarling Doberman pinscher? The answer is lipstick. Do you know the difference between a terrorist and a woman with PMS? You can negotiate with a terrorist.

Do you think the McCain speechwriters had a copy of this handy while writing the Palin speech?

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