Category Archives: Society

Stop it with the Nazi thing already.

No, really. Everything is NOT comparable to the attempted annihilation of an entire race and the ensuing World War that followed. Enough already. The offenderati are out in droves, and they can’t stop dragging out the cross (or swastika, as the case may be) and climbing up onto it. Everyone is being attacked by Nazis. The attackers are all on a par with Hitler.

Let me clue you in, kids. Unless you and your families are being forced to wear gold stars to identify you as an inferior being, then forced at gun point onto trains to internment camps where you will be starved and (eventually) killed in the most grisly manner possible?….you are not being attacked by Nazis. No. No, you’re not. And it is just incredibly arrogant and ignorant all at the same time of you to pretend that’s what’s happening here.

Penn and Teller jabbing the Catholic Church for half an hour does not make them Nazis, no matter what Bill Donohue may want to think.

Barack Obama? NOT Adolph Hitler incarnate just because he wants everyone in the entire country to be healthy.

Getting your little kid in on the act is not heart tugging, by the way. It’s sick and stupid. The kid doesn’t even know what a Nazi is, and you’re loading him up with a swastika protest sign. Way to go. Enjoy the therapy bills.

Enough, people! Stop with the Nazi/Hitler crap already. We get it. You don’t like that you lost the election. It sucks. You hate it. Trust me, I’ve been there all too many times. And yes, it was just as wrong when people inaccurately compared Bush to Hitler. That doesn’t mean you should do it. I feel like I’m addressing a bunch of 6th graders. “If Rush jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge would you?”

We get that you’re angry. But you’re hurting your country in the process of throwing these little temper tantrums. Because really, that’s what they are. Tantrums. Enough. Time to be reasonable. Time to recognize that you are not the sole moral voice or even necessarily the correct moral voice of the country. The voice of the right has for so long been that of incoherence and anger, it now knows no other way to express itself. And that’s too bad, because incoherence and anger are not the guiding forces that should be running the country. Ignorance and self serving machismo brought us to the point of collapse.

Time to grow up, people. Not getting your way does not make those you oppose Nazis. It doesn’t even make them wrong.

I’ll Adopt Your Dog After the Rapture

As recently reported in the Telegraph, a group of enterprising atheists here in the states have offered to care for the left behind pets of Christians after the Rapture. Yup, for a small fee ($110.00) this thoughtful group of unbelievers will happily take care of your pet after you’ve gone up to heaven with Jesus.

You’ve committed your life to Jesus. You know you’re saved. But when the Rapture comes what’s to become of your loving pets who are left behind?   Eternal Earth-Bound Pets takes that burden off your mind.

Kind of a bummer they’re not here in Texas. I mean, talk about a natural market! I’m thinking about contacting them just to see what they say about expanding here. I’d even put fliers on doors. OOo! Maybe leave some business cards at the mega church up the street!

After all. Atheists love pets, too.

Kentucky Dept. of Homeland Security to Remove God From State Law

As previously reported on my StumbleUpon blog, the Kentucky Dept. of Homeland Security decided the Constitution of the United States was being silly about no state sponsored religion and went ahead and put in language in its 2006 law insisting that:

the safety and security of the Commonwealth cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon Almighty God.”

Pretty much handing down the edict that every citizen of Kentucky has to recognize God or the state won’t be safe. I’m going to give you a minute to think about that. A state legislature willfully ignored the Constitution of the United States and passed a law that was the equivalent of telling all its citizens that they had to clap their hands and say “I believe in fairies!” or the state would fall to terrorists.

Fortunately, there exists the group American Atheists. Along with ten other complainants, the American Atheists sued in federal court to have the language struck down. On Friday, Judge Thomas Wingate agreed:

“The statute pronounces very plainly that current citizens of the Commonwealth cannot be safe, neither now, nor in the future, without the aid of Almighty God. Even assuming that most of this nation’s citizens have historically depended upon God, by choice, for their protection, this does not give the General Assembly the right to force citizens to do so now.”

The original drafter of the Bill, Rep. Tom Riner, has said he will appeal. I think it’s worth noting that Rep. Riner is a minister and this underscores yet again my assertion that precisely because of issues like this, ministers should not be allowed political office in this country. They cannot serve two masters. God, for them, will always come first. As a result, our country will come second and suffer.

Religion, by its very nature, cannot help but attempt to control. That’s what it’s there for. To make rules. To guide toward a god and specifically, their doctrine. To allow religious leaders a place in our political  body is to open the door to theocracy.

I shall continue to follow this story with interest.

Texas ABC Fires 3 For Raid on Gay Bar

Back in June, officers of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission set out purportedly to inspect The Rainbow Lounge in Fort Worth which had recently opened. An inspection; nothing more, nothing less. What actually took place was closer to a raid in which six patrons were arrested on a charge of public drunkenness and one man was arrested for resisting arrest.

Chad Gibson of Euless, aged 26, suffered a hairline skull fracture and now has a blood clot behind his right eye because of excessive force used by the officers while on the premises. The officers did not present themselves to the owner, they were not dressed as representatives of the TABC and far worse, they did not report the force used when subduing Mr. Gibson as is required.

In other words, several Texas cops went into a gay bar, beat the crap out of a guy til they broke his skull and then tried to cover it up by not reporting it. Chad Gibson was in the hospital for a week afterward.

Last Friday, the TABC ruled that the two agents, agent Christopher Aller and agent trainee Jason Chapman, were to be terminated. The TABC additionally terminated their supervisor, Sgt. Terry Parsons, for not ensuring that the two agents correctly filed a report regarding the force used.

It’s a relief to see that the city of Forth Worth is not turning a blind eye to this incident. Texas is becoming more and more culturally diverse, and it’s important to recognize that diversity for what it is: a positive step forward. I realize there are some who will likely never make the transition to accepting the fact that we live in a society that does not believe in repressing citizens merely due to their sexual orientation, but those people are no longer in the majority. It’s time to send the message that they are no longer allowed to perform actions or to condone actions that harm others based on their antiquated and baseless fears.

AAARRRGH!! Socialism! Fascism! Socio-Fascism, Fascio-Socialism! AAAAARGH!

I should state for the record that I do remember the 70’s fairly well, and the 80’s even more clearly than that. I remember sitting at my desk, watching the government approved short film on how to hide under our desks covering our heads in case of a nuclear attack from the Communists. Russia. Russia was evil. Russians were bloodthirsty people who lived in a corrupt country that was always cold and whose children were forced to become either ballerinas or gymnasts or soldiers (if they were boys). We had to be careful of the Commies! They would kill us all if they got the chance, just like in Red Dawn where the only thing that saved us was a teenaged Patrick Swayze and a few friends with guns up in the mountains. Yeah. Growing up in the midst of the cold war was a blast, let me tell you.

Eventually, the ‘evil empire’ fell (the other one, not ours) and all was peace and Perestroika and glurgey songs by The Scorpions. Which was great, ‘cuz I was 19 and seriously into stadium rock. Unfortunately for those in the political world…people stopped hating the Russians and started looking at our own policies. The whole guns for cash/Iran-Contra thingie. America went through a period where we tried hanging the sign ‘next Evil Empire’ on various countries…China, Iran, Iraq, …but our hearts weren’t in it.

I am so pleased to announce that is finally over. Our long period of life without a national bogeyman is over! We now have SOCIALISM! Right here in River Ci… er, downtown Dallas! The socialists are coming! The socialists are coming! And they’re bringing their icky government healthcare with ’em! Because in Canada, you’re required by law to wait 18 months to see a doctor for a broken leg, and even then the doctor just tells you to walk it off and rub some dirt on it. And in France, the government will dictate to you who your doctor is, even if you’re a man and they send you to a gynecologist, even if you just need an eye exam and they send you to a proctologist. And in Belgium, something something, baseless lies and pointless fearmongering and SOCIALISM! SOCIALISM! AND FASCISM, TOO! BOTH AT ONCE! FASCO-SOCIALISM! SOCIO-FASCISM! Where’s Obama’s birth certificate, and why does he want to steal my guns from me?

Am I the only one here who gets the feeling that these people who cry ‘fascism!’ ‘socialism!’ in tortured tones of great fear aren’t even really sure what either term means? All they know is, it’s bad and they don’t like Obama and they heard some politician or Glenn Beck  or someone on Faux News call him a socialist so that must be where we’re going because they wouldn’t lie and THEY LOVE OUR COUNTRY!

*sigh*…..

No. We are not moving toward socialism. Or fascism. Quite the opposite, in fact, moving AWAY from that one. Want to know what we really have? I’ll tell you. What we have is a Republican minority. And when the Republicans are in the minority, the only way they know how to get back in power is by scaring the living daylights out of people. It’s a proven game plan, so why bother actually helping the current administration come up with anything workable? Why try to be for something when you can be against everything? “If we were in charge this wouldn’t be happening!” Well, no, but we wouldn’t have any money at all and we’d be in the middle of a huge depression.

Stop worrying, folks. We’re not socialists. All we’ve done is taken a turn toward the middle of the road. Right now we’re so far right than anything left of Genghis Khan looks dangerously leftist. The socialists are not going to come take our wages while we sleep in our beds. All will be well. And maybe we’ll be able to climb out of the cellar of the worst neonatal and new mother death rates in the industrialized world. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Sarah Palin to Resign

I must admit, I’m stunned. Without any true reasoning behind the move, Sarah Palin announced today that she will be resigning as governor of the state of Alaska in a few weeks and hand the reins of state government over to Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell on July 25th.

Speculation is sure to be rampant; all Mrs. Palin would say is that she feels she can “affect change from outside government.” I’m sure we’ll hear what that means after July 25th.

Personal thoughts? There is no way this woman would have been able to finish out her first term without another major scandal and any hopes she may have once had to become POTUS were dashed by finding out just what the job entailed. She has given us an entertaining year…with likely more to come…but any presidential hopes she may have been harboring are pure fantasy. This woman cannot lead.

Michael Jackson Was Not a Hero.

Friends, netizens, countrymen….lend me your ears.

I come to bury Michael Jackson, not to praise him. Only the good the man has done lives after him; the evil is being interred with his bones. O judgement! thou art fled to brutish beasts,  and men have lost their reason.

After several days of listening to wailing and moaning about our loss, I have begun to wonder why we refuse to acknowledge that our entertainers are human beings and as such….not the most wonderful beings on the planet. We are so enamored of our celebrities that we project the kind of personalities and attributes on them that we wish them to have instead of seeing them for who they were. At what point does art become so important that we are willing to sell our morality and look the other way? Nowhere is this more true than in the case of Michael Jackson.

There are those who espouse the position that his childhood is to blame for the darkness in his life. Doubtless the allegations against his father, Joe Jackson, do not paint the most flattering of pictures. It has been asserted that the man stood over the rehearsals of his sons with his belt wrapped around one fist. That he beat Michael more than any of the others combined. That he treated his children less as a father and more as an investor. But at what point does that cease to be an influence over one’s life? Is it not true that Michael has been estranged from his father  most of his adult life? Would it not be reasonable to expect that he would seek help to make sure he was not such a father to his own children?

There are those who insist that we should remember the good he has done in the world and forget the bad. Why? Why should we not learn from the serious mistakes the man made? Because he made us dance with him? Because we liked the tune? Is charm truly so much more important than the harm inflicted? Even if that charming person was rich and famous?

Still others insist that they don’t look into the personal lives of the artists they admire, and it is these people that infuriate me the most. No deed is too heinous, no life so shattered, no injury so grievous that they can be bothered to look at it, should it concern someone who gives them four minutes of happiness on the radio or a couple hours on the movie screen. “Oh, yes, that Mel Gibson is a racist drunken lunatic with no regard for anyone’s safety, but did you see POTC?!” Michael Jackson was accused of molesting several young boys. Only two cases got close to court. He fed a young girl sedatives and antihistamines to keep her asleep while he molested her brothers. He had cameras and alarms in the hallway outside his bedroom. Child after child came forward in the first court case to testify. He out and out ADMITTED in an interview to inviting young boys into his bed:

Pop superstar Michael Jackson admitted last night in a television documentary that he loves to have young boys sleep in his bed.

What’s more, everyone should do it, says the 44-year-old Jackson, who was accused of sexually molesting a 13-year-old boy a decade ago, and who admits recently encouraging a 12-year-old cancer sufferer to sleep in his bedroom.

“It’s what the whole world should do,” Jackson told interviewer Martin Bashir on the Granada television program, “Living With Michael Jackson,” according to a London Times account. Granada is one of the largest independent television companies in the United Kingdom…

According to Jackson, not only do children like to be touched, but the superstar told Bashir he would kill himself if he could not be close to young boys.

Yet there are those who still refuse to acknowledge even the possibility that Jackson molested those boys. Enough. Enough of the adulation and the canonization of this man. He ruined young lives. Enough of the waving away of criticisms with cries of ‘racism.’ It is an injustice to those who fight racism on a daily basis to even liken it to racism. Imagine those young boys, now young men. Finally, their nightmare is over…except for those who insist that the man that molested them is a god, not a monster. It is time we stopped treating our celebrities like deities and started treating them like people.

Sotomayor gets the nom for SCOTUS

In a move that shocked no one, especially those bright fellows over at The Daily Beast, President Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor to be the next Justice to the Supreme Court replacing the outgoing Justice Souter.

Judge Sotomayor has a stellar background; 5 years with the district attorney’s office after Princeton and Yale Law School, then elevated to the federal bench by George HW Bush and appointed to the federal court of appeals by Bill Clinton.

While I was personally pulling for Brinkmann, I think Ms. Sotomayor is an excellent choice. Her history makes her nigh on bulletproof, although I’m sure the Republicans will try. One rather interesting quote from the article comes from an RNC staffer:

“The Republicans are going to strike a tone that’s fair, that allows the vetting process to happen like it should, and that’s in stark contrast to how the Democrats dealt with Judge Roberts when you look back a couple years ago,” the official said, referring to the 2005 confirmation of Chief Justice John Roberts.

Bearing in mind that Chief Justice Roberts sailed through with little to no opposition, I can only assume said staffer is either in possession of a very bad memory or it’s opposite day, and this is code for “We’re gonna give the Puerto Rican chick hell!”

Senate minority  leader Mitch McConnell, (R-Fantasy Land) stated:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said that Senate Republicans “will thoroughly examine [Sotomayor’s] record to ensure she understands that the role of a jurist in our democracy is to apply the law evenhandedly, despite their own feelings or personal or political preferences.”

I’m sure Mr. McConnell will advise Judge Sotomayor that her actual job is to uphold the policy decisions of the current administration, regardless of what the Constitution actually says, just like they expected the Court to do during the last administration’s tenure. I’m equally certain this insistence on the part of Senate Republicans to oppose any nominee, regardless of background, has nothing to do with Rush Limbaugh’s urging or as retribution for the Dems’ opposition to the wholly unqualified Harriet Miers for SCOTUS Chief Justice. Unlike White House counsel Miers, however, Ms. Sotomayor’s experience and rate of 99% of upheld appeals make Harriet Miers look small time indeed. Good luck, party of no.

It’s going to be an interesting July, people! The best birthday present I could possibly have hoped for.

Oklahoma State Legislature Jumps the Shark, Film at 11

Recently, the University of Oklahoma to speak at their celebration of Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday. Dawkins’ talk focused on “seeing purpose all around by looking at the differences between the appearance of purpose, as seen in evolutionary development, and true purpose, being the product of the mind.” All went well, and Dawkins was greeted like a rock star.

Sadly, Rep. Todd Thompson was so threatened by the very thought of the brilliant biologist speaking and discussing evolution at a public university, he went and wrote up two resolutions, one of which stated:

THAT the Oklahoma House of Representative strongly opposes the invitation to speak on the campus of the University of Oklahoma to Richard Dawkins of Oxford University, whose published statements on the theory of evolution and opinion about those who do not believe in the theory are contrary and offensive to the views and opinions of most citizens of Oklahoma.

Rep. Thompson, how dare you? How dare you attempt to enforce what can only be called censorship and hide behind the people of Oklahoma? And how dare you use something as transparent as argumentum ad populum to hide your repugnant and ignorant views? Once the “views and opinions of most citizens of Oklahoma” have a say in what can and cannot be taught at the UO, then that university will quickly top the list of “schools not to attend.”

The University of Oklahoma is not a religious university.  It is a state institution, and as such is subject to the laws not only of the State of Oklahoma but also the United States. Censorship is a crime, and your resolution is censorship, Mr. Thompson. It is to be hoped that the rest of the state legislature will recognize the harm that would be done not only to the university, but to the state should these resolutions pass. The university will slide further behind the national average and lose students, tax dollars and prestige. The state in turn will become that much less competitive and functional and more deeply entrenched in economic stagnation.

This is precisely why religion should never be allowed control of the state. In every instance, ignorance triumphs over learning.

United States Becoming More Secular

A just-published study by the American Religious Identification Survey found that14.1% of Americans or 29,481,000 people identify as atheist, humanist, agnostic or non-religious (see pages 12-13, SO sorry about the PDF).

Additionally, nearly 40% of those who identified as Christian stated that neither they themselves nor members of their families belonged to or attended a church or religious institution. The difference between “identification as” and “affiliation with” [a religious institution] is very pronounced: people call themselves Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim… but don’t attend Church/Temple/Mosque. The association is more a state of mind than actual state of being.

Can we now, then dispense with the meme that “we are a Christian nation”? That in fact, we are a nation of people, many of whom identify when asked as Christian, but have no actual ties to any Christian church?

I take this as a particularly encouraging sign. What was previously seen as an impenetrable wall now seems no more than smoke and mirrors. Church membership is declining. Atheism and humanism is markedly on the rise. Reason is making headway in public schools and government. It does lead me to wonder, however, just how accurate a certain survey was. You know the one. It shows atheists as being the least trusted group in the U.S. With close to one fifth of the U.S. atheist/agnostic or non-religious….just how accurate is that statement?