Friday, April 30, 2010
You can read the complete article right here on the Reuters site.
April 29 (Reuters) - Louisiana shrimpers have filed a class-action lawsuit against oil giant BP Plc and owners of the oil rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, marking the first claim for economic losses stemming from the disaster.
The complaint says Halliburton "improperly and negligently performed these duties, increasing the pressure at the well and contributing to the fire, explosion and resulting oil spill."
Thursday, April 29, 2010
You can read the rest of it right here on Right Wing Watch.
Dr. Ergun Caner, the president of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, has been a rising star on the Religious Right, entertaining audiences at major Religious Right gatherings with his hip, irreverent stories about his upbringing as a radical Muslim and his conversion to Christianity. Just this week, his story was featured on Focus on the Family’s broadcast, “From Jihad to Jesus.”
Turns out, according to a growing chorus of critics – many of them Southern Baptists and other Christians – Caner has apparently been lying for years about his childhood and his life story. It’s hard to even summarize the extent of the deceptions being described by his critics, but they include his claims to have grown up in Turkey and to have personally involved in Islamic Jihad, when court records from his parents’ divorce place him in Columbus, Ohio when he was just a few years old. Check some of the critical websites for voluminous debunking of Caner’s colorful (and apparently fanciful) stories about learning about America through TV broadcasts in Turkey and more. Some charges are even more directly related to his ministry, such as his claims to have debated top Muslim scholars around the world. Caner’s critics say there’s no evidence of those debates.
These are no vague or reckless charges, but carefully documented exposes that draw from Caner’s sermons, speeches, and online videos, and other public records. Liberty doesn’t seem to have responded publicly, but recently posted a revised version of Caner’s bio with disputed claims removed.
So is he mentally ill or just a con man? I really don't know what to think. Maybe more will come to light in due course.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Let me be very clear here about my own position. I think abortion is always a tragedy. I also believe it is clearly the taking of a life. The question before us, however, is who gets to decide. I would much rather trust a woman and her health care provider to make this difficult decision than the state.
The Oklahoma Senate voted Tuesday to override the governor's vetoes and pass two strong anti-abortion measures.
One law requires women to undergo an ultrasound examination and listen to a description of what it shows before getting an abortion.
Henry said he was disappointed by Tuesday's vote.
"It signals the beginning of another costly and possibly futile legal battle for the state of Oklahoma. Both laws will be challenged and, in all likelihood, overturned by the courts as unconstitutional," he said. "I fear this entire exercise will ultimately be a waste of taxpayers' time and money."
In a statement issued after his vetoes Friday, Henry sharply criticized the laws.
"State policymakers should never mandate that a citizen be forced to undergo any medical procedure against his or her will, especially when such a procedure could cause physical or mental trauma," Henry said. "To do so amounts to an unconstitutional invasion of privacy."
Henry said one of the flaws of the ultrasound bill was that it lacked an exemption for rape and incest victims.
That is all.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Here's just a bit of it:
There's more. And it's truly worth reading.
Imagine that hundreds of black protesters were to descend upon Washington DC and Northern Virginia, just a few miles from the Capitol and White House, armed with AK-47s, assorted handguns, and ammunition. And imagine that some of these protesters —the black protesters — spoke of the need for political revolution, and possibly even armed conflict in the event that laws they didn’t like were enforced by the government? Would these protester — these black protesters with guns — be seen as brave defenders of the Second Amendment, or would they be viewed by most whites as a danger to the republic? What if they were Arab-Americans? Because, after all, that’s what happened recently when white gun enthusiasts descended upon the nation’s capital, arms in hand, and verbally announced their readiness to make war on the country’s political leaders if the need arose.
Imagine that white members of Congress, while walking to work, were surrounded by thousands of angry black people, one of whom proceeded to spit on one of those congressmen for not voting the way the black demonstrators desired. Would the protesters be seen as merely patriotic Americans voicing their opinions, or as an angry, potentially violent, and even insurrectionary mob? After all, this is what white Tea Party protesters did recently in Washington.
Hat tip to MadPriest over at Of Course I Could Be Wrong.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Could only have been written in the internet age!
A preoccupied vegan named Hugh
picked up the wrong sandwich to chew.
He took a big bite
before spitting, in fright,
“OMG, WTF, BBQ!”
(And, lest anyone get offended, I'm a vegetarian, myself.)
Friday, April 23, 2010
You can read about it here.
Now take a look at a comment someone made:
Where's the outrage, indeed?
The tea partiers must be organizing one heck of a protest against this law that allows police to stop anyone they feel *might* be here illegally and demand proof of citizenship, right? This is big brother government at its worst, making American citizens of hispanic descent feel as if they have to carry around their birth certificate or citizenship papers in order to "prove" they belong. So where's the outrage from the tri-cornered hat crowd?
Jim Wallis tells us about it in an article entitled "Arizona’s Immigration Bill is a Social and Racial Sin".
This literally made me sick to my stomach. I'm still queasy from it. Here's how the article gets started:
I had the great privilege of hearing Jim Wallis speak at the Cathedral in Oklahoma City about ten year or so ago. Afterwards he and I had a conversation that I found enormously helpful and encouraging. He is a thoughtful, reflective man with a keen sense of responsibility and never sees matters in reductionistic or overly simplistic terms.
I got up at 4:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning to fly to Phoenix, Arizona, to speak at a press conference and rally at the State Capitol at the invitation of the state’s clergy and other leaders in the immigration reform movement. The harshest enforcement bill in the country against undocumented immigrants just passed the Arizona state House and Senate, and is only awaiting the signature of Governor Janet Brewer to become law.
Senate Bill 1070 would require law enforcement officials in the state of Arizona to investigate someone’s immigration status if there is “reasonable suspicion” that the person might be undocumented. I wonder who that would be, and if anybody who doesn’t have brown skin will be investigated. Those without identification papers, even if they are legal, are subject to arrest; so don’t forget your wallet on your way to work if you are Hispanic in Arizona. You can also be arrested if you are stopped and are simply with people who are undocumented — even if they are your family. Parents or children of “mixed-status families” (made up of legal and undocumented, as many immigrant families are out here) could be arrested if they are found together. You can be arrested if you are “transporting or harboring” undocumented people. Some might consider driving immigrant families to and from church to be Christian ministry — but it will now be illegal in Arizona.
For the first time, all law enforcement officers in the state will be enlisted to hunt down undocumented people, which will clearly distract them from going after truly violent criminals, and will focus them on mostly harmless families whose work supports the economy and who contribute to their communities. And do you think undocumented parents will now go to the police if their daughter is raped or their family becomes a victim of violent crime? Maybe that’s why the state association of police chiefs is against SB 1070.
This proposed law is not only mean-spirited — it will be ineffective and will only serve to further divide communities in Arizona, making everyone more fearful and less safe. This radical new measure, which crosses many moral and legal lines, is a clear demonstration of the fundamental mistake of separating enforcement from comprehensive immigration reform. We all want to live in a nation of laws, and the immigration system in the U.S. is so broken that it is serving no one well. But enforcement without reform of the system is merely cruel. Enforcement without compassion is immoral. Enforcement that breaks up families is unacceptable. And enforcement of this law would force us to violate our Christian conscience, which we simply will not do. It makes it illegal to love your neighbor in Arizona.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
And it seems I'm at all not alone. None other than the great Noam Chomsky says much the same.
I want to call your attention to a Chris Hedges article about just that. Here's a little excerpt:
You know, Debra Salazar mentioned in a comment a few days ago that people are mad and frightened. Looks like Chomsky agrees.
"The mood of the country is frightening. The level of anger, frustration and hatred of institutions is not organized in a constructive way. It is going off into self-destructive fantasies.”
“I listen to talk radio,” Chomsky said. “I don’t want to hear Rush Limbaugh. I want to hear the people calling in. They are like [suicide pilot] Joe Stack. What is happening to me? I have done all the right things. I am a God-fearing Christian. I work hard for my family. I have a gun. I believe in the values of the country and my life is collapsing.”
Here's something else he said:
I hope he is being alarmist; I really do. But I repsect this man's take on things even if I don't always agree with him.
“It is very similar to late Weimar Germany,” Chomsky told me when I called him at his office in Cambridge, Mass. “The parallels are striking. There was also tremendous disillusionment with the parliamentary system. The most striking fact about Weimar was not that the Nazis managed to destroy the Social Democrats and the Communists but that the traditional parties, the Conservative and Liberal parties, were hated and disappeared. It left a vacuum which the Nazis very cleverly and intelligently managed to take over.”
“The United States is extremely lucky that no honest, charismatic figure has arisen,” Chomsky went on. “Every charismatic figure is such an obvious crook that he destroys himself, like McCarthy or Nixon or the evangelist preachers. If somebody comes along who is charismatic and honest this country is in real trouble because of the frustration, disillusionment, the justified anger and the absence of any coherent response. What are people supposed to think if someone says ‘I have got an answer, we have an enemy’? There it was the Jews. Here it will be the illegal immigrants and the blacks. We will be told that white males are a persecuted minority. We will be told we have to defend ourselves and the honor of the nation. Military force will be exalted. People will be beaten up. This could become an overwhelming force. And if it happens it will be more dangerous than Germany. The United States is the world power. Germany was powerful but had more powerful antagonists. I don’t think all this is very far away. If the polls are accurate it is not the Republicans but the right-wing Republicans, the crazed Republicans, who will sweep the next election.”
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
The above is part of an email I received today from American Rights at Work. You can go right here to send a letter to the Mott's management about this issue.
Mott's is in the money.
Their apple sauce and juice products are everywhere. Market share has grown. Their parent company earned $555 million in profits last year and their stock is up a whopping 180 percent since March 2009!
So Mott's should be rewarding its workers, right? Perhaps with a raise?
Apparently not. Like a playground bully, Mott's management just can't get enough.
They're not just keeping all those extra profits to themselves. They're actually trying to slash wages by as much as $2.50 per hour for employees at Mott's Williamson, NY, facility. And they're even trying to take away the workers' pension plan!
Mott's management has spent millions to build its wholesome public image, and they're counting on the media and consumers to miss the story.
Monday, April 19, 2010
There's more if you want to click through for the complete article.
The Divine Mercy Care Pharmacy in Chantilly proudly and purposefully limited what it would stock on its shelves. But it turns out that no birth control pills, no condoms, no porn, no tobacco and even no makeup added up to one thing:
The self-described "pro-life" pharmacy went out of business last month, less than two years after it opened to great fanfare, with a Catholic priest sprinkling holy water on the strip-mall store tucked between an Asian supermarket and a scuba shop.
No word on whether he returned for last rites.
I think I'll just leave it at that with no further comment.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Think about it, all you Tea Party people out there! (Not that they'd ever read this blog, however...)
I pledge to eliminate all government intervention in my life. I will abstain from the use of and participation in any socialist goods and services including but not limited to the following:
*State Children's Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP)
*Police, Fire, and Emergency Services
*US Postal Service
*Roads and Highways
*Air Travel (regulated by the socialist FAA)
*The US Railway System
*Public Subways and Metro Systems
*Public Bus and Lightrail Systems
*Rest Areas on Highways
*All Government-Funded Local/State Projects
*Public Water and Sewer Services (goodbye socialist toilet, shower, dishwasher, kitchen sink, outdoor hose!)
*Public and State Universities and Colleges
*Public Primary and Secondary Schools
*Publicly Funded Anti-Drug Use Education for Children
*Public Parks and Beaches
*State and National Parks
*Municipal Garbage and Recycling Services
*Treatment at any hospital or clinic that ever received funding from local, State or Federal government (pretty much all of them)
*Medical services and medications that were created or derived from any government grant or research funding (again, pretty much all of them)
*Socialist byproducts of government investment such as duct tape and velcro (Nazi-NASA Inventions)
*Use of the Internets, email, and networked computers, as the DoD's ARPANET was the basis for subsequent computer networking
*Foodstuffs, meats, produce and crops that were grown with, raised with or that contain inputs from crops grown with government subsidies
*Clothing made from crops (e.g. cotton) that were grown with or that contain inputs from government subsidies
*If a veteran of the government-run socialist US military, I will forego my VA benefits and insist on paying for my own medical care
*I will not tour socialist government buildings like the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
I pledge to never take myself, my family, or my children on a tour of the following types of socialist locations, including but not limited to:
*Smithsonian Museums such as the Air and Space Museum or Museum of American History
*The socialist Washington, Lincoln, and Jefferson Monuments
*The government-operated Statue of Liberty
*The Grand Canyon
*The socialist World War II and Vietnam Veterans Memorials
*The government-run socialist-propaganda location known as Arlington National Cemetery
*All other public-funded socialist sites, whether it be in my state or in Washington, DC
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Can you believe it?
The Shirks were among the thousands of people who attended the rally from around the region, many of them carrying signs with slogans such as, “What Part of Live Free or Die Don’t You Understand?,’’ “Don’t Tread on Me,’’ and “Starve the Beast by Tax Cuts.’’
For the Shirks, it was a day for their children to seek inspiration from Palin and the other speakers, who questioned Obama’s patriotism and at least one of whom referred to him repeatedly as Barack Hussein.
The couple, who rely on Medicaid for their health care, were also upset about the nation’s new health reforms.
When asked why her family used state-subsidized health care when she criticized people who take handouts, Valerie Shirk said she did not want to stop having children, and that her husband’s income was not enough to cover the family with private insurance.
It's enough to make my head explode.
By the way, the Shirks have 10 children already.
The Tea Party rally, also by the way, was held on the Boston Commons. (I know the Boston Commons well, as it happens. I used to live within easy walking distance.) Now here's the part I like:
Excellent! Truly excellent!
Taylor Light, 19, a sophomore at Emerson College, held up a sign that read, “Get Off Our Socialist Commons.’’
Friday, April 16, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
I feel paying taxes is one of the most patriotic things I get to do as a citizen of the United States. I’m proud of my country. My taxes pay for roads, schools, police protection, trash pickup, health care, and social services for seniors and people with disabilities. Taxes create the kind of community that I want to live in.
Now, here’s where I’m going to get controversial: We overtax the poor and undertax the wealthy. It’s a fact—ask billionaire investor Warren Buffett. He has offered to bet a million dollars that no member of the Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans can prove that the group pays a higher percentage of income in payroll taxes than their receptionists do. This is a very safe bet. Well over two years later, he’s had no takers.
Billionaires paying a lower tax rate than the folks who answer the phones? I don’t care what your politics are; that’s just unfair.
Taxes are the dues that we as Americans pay to ensure the common good...
Of course, I don't approve of my tax dollars going to pay for unnecessary wars. But that's another post.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
That $12 million was after she quit as governor of Alaska.
Sarah Palin has made more than $12 million. And they say $12 million is a conservative estimate. She may have made a lot more, and yet, she continues to blame Obama for the bad economy. It seems — weird, right?
Doesn't seem quite right, does it?
Hat tip to Lisa over at All Hat No Cattle.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Sunday, April 11, 2010
I had the great misfortune not too long ago to find myself in a position of accountability to someone in a leadership role who clearly did not respect me and who, equally clearly, did not have my best interests at heart at all. It was a stressful, painful, frightening and truly miserable time in my life.
Humans are ambitious and rational and proud. And we don't fall in line with people who don't respect us and who we don't believe have our best interests at heart. We are willing to follow leaders, but only to the extent that we believe they call on our best, not our worst.
Thank God that chapter in my experience is now behind me.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
It's from an AP article entitled "Future pope stalled Calif. pedophile case".
Four years after a California priest and convicted child molester asked to be defrocked, his bishop pleaded with the future Pope Benedict XVI to remove the man from the priesthood. Then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger replied, urging caution.
"Consider the good of the Universal Church," Ratzinger wrote in a 1985 letter to Oakland Bishop John Cummins. "It is necessary for this Congregation to submit incidents of this sort to very careful consideration, which necessitates a longer period of time."
Two more years would pass before the Vatican acted on the Rev. Stephen Kiesle's request to leave.
A copy of the letter, typewritten in Latin and signed by Ratzinger, was obtained by The Associated Press. It constitutes the strongest challenge yet to the Vatican's insistence that Benedict played no role in blocking the removal of pedophile priests during his years as head of the Catholic Church's doctrinal watchdog office.
Friday, April 09, 2010
That is so very appropriate. You can read more about it here and get the information you need to make a donation.
Do you have an old fur coat in your closet? Is your grandmother's mink stole stored in the attic? Many of us have fur apparel that we no longer want or that was left to us by a family member. Some aren't comfortable selling it or giving it to charity, because they feel people should not wear animal fur. And storing, cleaning, and remodeling old fur coats are highly profitable services for furriers and helps keep them in the fur business. So what should people do with it?
Give it back to the animals. If you would like to see that old fur put to a good use, donate it to The Humane Society of the United States' Coats for Cubs program. The fur will aid and comfort wildlife.
Where Do the Furs Go?
All of the furs received by The HSUS are sent to wildlife rehabilitators, who use the furs to warm and comfort orphaned and injured wildlife. More than 200 rehabilitators from across the United States and Canada now participate in the program.
Thursday, April 08, 2010
I'm just wondering if the Senator has some sort of hidden agenda here. I can't imagine what it might be, however.
Well, here's a thought. Maybe the recent observance of Easter has helped him develop a more thoughtful conscience. Maybe.
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
You know, it doesn't matter how disappointed I might be with Obama at times, stuff like this just makes me realize that we really, really, really dodged a bullet.
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
Isn't that succinctly elegant?
The main issue is that carbon dioxide is a heat-trapping gas and we're putting more and more of it into the atmosphere. Even if the temperature trend line were stubbornly flat, carbon dioxide is still a heat trapping gas, and we're still putting more and more into the atmosphere.
Now, as to whether environmentalists are guilty in pointing to freakish weather as evidence of warming, think about it this way. If you know that the wiring in your apartment building is faulty and no fire has broken out yet, but a building a few blocks away happens to be on fire, are you wrong to point out to your neighbors, "That's what I've been warning you about."
Is that really the same as a guy who says he doesn't believe in faulty wiring making a joke about his too-cold refrigerator? A joke that never stops seeming hilarious to him?
1. heat trapping gas
2. more of it
That's it, people. That's really it.
If not, please go to the PBS website pages that are all about it.
Here's a brief introduction:
The original story is about about the residents of Billings, Montana who came together very powerful in opposition to an upsurge of hate activities in their town. I do recommend that you read the report because it is genuinely inspiring.
NOT IN OUR TOWN is a national movement that encourages community response to hate crimes. The project combines PBS broadcast, grassroots events, educational outreach and online activities to help communities battling hate talk to-and learn from-each other. Since 1995, NOT IN OUR TOWN has chronicled positive community organizing stories and provided practical tools to stimulate dialogue.
We need this inspiration, I think, given the appalling increase in hatefulness within political discourse since the election of President Obama.
Monday, April 05, 2010
Yes, indeed. Why do we coddle the right wing in this country?
Ironically, it appears the right-wing has taken on the ideology of Malcolm X. By any means necessary.
If they lose the elections, well then they turn to physical intimidation. This is ugly.
Finally, imagine if there were a group of well-organized Muslims in the country leading rage filled protests. That they were being led by Democratic congressmen and left-wing commentators. And they started throwing bricks through windows, cutting gas lines, sending white powder to congressmen's offices and sending death threats. What do you think the general attitude of the nation and the press would be? My guess is utter panic and an enormous backlash.
So, why aren't people reacting the same way when it's right-wing zealots doing these things? Does it appear to be less scary when it's done by white people? By right-wingers? The last time the extreme right-wing movement got this worked up, someone blew up a federal building in Oklahoma. We have already had several federal buildings attacked and the size of the militia movement is even larger now than when Clinton was president. When is it time to get concerned? What are we waiting for? For the attacks to get larger? To get deadlier?
I found the above in an article right here.
Sunday, April 04, 2010
I found it here along with the following:
I'd like to see some footage of that actually happening!
This site was mentioned on Thom Hartmann’s show. He gave great advice that people can dress up as Uncle Sam at “tea party” events and hand the form out to people to fill out and have taken their benefits taken away as they wish.
Here is something he said that you don't often hear quoted:
When are we going to ask this question - I mean really ask it as a society, as a culture, as a nation?
...And one day we must ask the question, Why are there forty million poor people in America? And when you begin to ask that question, you are raising questions about the economic system, about a broader distribution of wealth. When you ask that question, you begin to question the capitalistic economy. And I'm simply saying that more and more, we've got to begin to ask questions about the whole society...
Saturday, April 03, 2010
Why Are Pedophilia-Hiding, Child-Abusing Church Fathers Allowed to Write Laws About Women's Bodies?
It's a good question.
And a good article. Do click through and read it.
Friday, April 02, 2010
This morning I found a really good reference page of many more click to donate sites than I knew about before. All this takes is a little time and dedication. And it works by volume. Please don't think "Oh, my click doesn't matter. It won't make any difference." You're right; it won't, if everyone takes that attitude. But if we all pitch in consistently, the difference will be huge.
Here's the page: Click to donate sites
And, remember: If you use GoodSearch as your search engine at least part of the time (and GoodShop when you order things online) and list St. John's Center for Spiritual Formation as your charity of choice, you will help us quite a bit!
Thursday, April 01, 2010
You can find this as part of an article entitled "Socialism? Not Quite, Say the Socialists" by John Nichols.
The bill passed by the House (March 21) would mandate all Americans to purchase health insurance coverage or face a fine. It would also create health insurance exchanges, an idea crafted by the right-wing Heritage Foundation, where people would purchase insurance from private companies. Those not eligible for Medicaid but who still could not afford to purchase insurance would receive public funds from the federal government to purchase bare bones coverage insurance plans from private insurers.
(Socialists) opposes this restructuring on the grounds that the mandates allow private insurers to use the coercive power of the state to enhance their private profits. Insurance credits will serve as a public subsidy to private companies. It is yet another case of public money that could be used for necessary social programs being funneled towards companies that engage in practices that are abusive and detrimental to the overall society.
Personally, I wish we would have socialist health care in this country. What we're actually getting? Not even close.
Go read the rest of it if you're not already too disgusted by now. It's from an article entitled "Catholic Sex Abuse Scandal Blamed on Hippies and Gays" and I found it over on Alternet.
Like everything else, the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal is the fault of hippies and gays, according to some people desperate to blame anyone but the cowardly, patriarchal Catholic leadership that maintained a massive cover up for decades while shuttling pedophile priests from church to church.
Ross Douthat, demonstrating the conservative reverence for personal accountability, puts lots of the blame elsewhere: namely, on the culturewide moral permissiveness wrought by the sex-crazed hippies of the 60s and 70s. “The permissive sexual culture that prevailed everywhere, seminaries included, during the silly season of the ’70s deserves a share of the blame, as does that era’s overemphasis on therapy,” says Douthat.
And, oh yeah. Don't forget to blame those therapists while you're at it... Sheesh.