Monday, May 30, 2005

Came across this article, and its sequel, here, today.

This quote (from the first one) made my jaw drop:
[H]e believes spiritual war requires a virile, worldly counterpart. “I teach a strong ideology of the use of power,” he says, “of military might, as a public service.” He is for preemptive war, because he believes the Bible’s exhortations against sin set for us a preemptive paradigm, and he is for ferocious war, because “the Bible’s bloody. There’s a lot about blood.”

Oh, yes. I recall what Jesus had to say about this: "But I say unto you, That ye tolerate not evil: but whosoever shall turn to smite thee on thy right cheek, smite them aforehand."

Of course, on the one hand, he's quite right--the Bible is indeed, very bloody. And I am glad that he has noted this, as I have already taken lengths to point this out to certain people who believe that only Islam is violent. Unfortunately, Pastor Ted seems to have used this to justify his idea that all beliefs counter to his must be stamped out.

And, after reading the second one, I find it amazing how people can (allegedly) listen to Jesus's message and come across with the idea that "tolerance" is a dirty word. The author of the articles notes this:
Truth, [Peter Berger] says, does “not rest in the wisdom of men but the power of God.” Then, in a lisping, limp-wristed imitation of liberals, he mocks, to laughter and applause, those who want to “share” and be sensitive to the needs of others.

He also points out something I certainly would not have noticed, which is partly the reason I say these people have only "allegedly" read the Bible:
MacDonald quotes liberally from the Book of Revelation, the only place in the New Testament where Jesus (arguably) endorses violence and calls for vengeance against nonbelievers. It is, along with the apocalyptic visions of St. Paul, the movement’s go-to text. Rarely mentioned these days is the Jesus of the four Gospels, the Jesus who speaks of the poor and the marginalized, who taught followers to turn the other cheek and love their enemies, the Jesus who rejected the mantle of secular power.

Forgive the lack of segue, but I recall that earlier in the semester, in my Western Religions class, the professor was asking us to read the mind of the author of one of our books (the one on Islam). He was explaining that, according to Islam, all religions are a religion and the religion. And he wrote "To have lived any religion fully is to have lived all religions and there is nothing more pernicious than to create a syncretism from various religions with a claim to universality." She wanted us to guess what he meant by this--and one person hazarded that if somebody were to create an amalgamation of religions, choosing the pieces to go into their own faith, they would only pick pieces that they already agreed with. They wouldn't have any rules that they'd have to conform to, but would just live the same as if they had no religion at all.

This makes sense, but only if you assume that people actually conform themselves to their religion. For the most part, they don't. They use their religion as justification for their preconceived prejudices, paying attention only to what pleases them, and damn whatever context there may be.
A few days ago, my younger brother graduated from high school. We went to the ceremony, but didn't stick around for him to get his actual diploma. So after he had, he called Henry immediately, telling him that he had apparently been in the top 3% of his class (I guess they advertise this on the diploma?).

Henry tells him "I wouldn't have believed it", and mom and I both burst out laughing.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

"Here we go.
Now, there's just one thing.
We don't usually have people coming through here in pairs; most of the Resistance travel light, travel alone.
So to get travel permits for the two of you together... well, our access to the Transit Bureau is limited to... whatever we can steal.
So, you're Jim Fennerman, and you're Daniel Lane. A young married couple on holiday to Mars for their honeymoon."

Monday, May 16, 2005

The fundamentalist propagandists have come up with a new way of forcing their dogma on schoolchildren: if they can't get the Bible accepted as science, they're going to try to redefine science.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Growl, snarl.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Gay Men Respond Differently to Pheromones

So nyaah, all of those idiots who think homosexuality is a "choice".

Monday, May 9, 2005

Some of you may not be aware of this, as it apparently isn't receiving much news at all here, but a while ago a memo was leaked detailing the minutes of a meeting of officials in the British government about the Iraq war. That is, trying to start the Iraq war, because the U.S. already had their minds set on it--back in July 2002. Here's an article about it. And here's the memo itself.

Friday, May 6, 2005

After they're born, compassion ends:

Five years ago, political scientist Jean Reith Schroedel, a professor at Claremont Graduate University, published a book - Is the Fetus a Person? - that examined state policies throughout the country, comparing their restrictions on abortion with their support for poor children.

She found that the states that imposed the most restrictions on access to abortion were also those that put the least money into health care or day care or housing aid for poor children.

"Pro-life states are less likely than pro-choice states to provide adequate care to poor and needy children. Their concern for the weak and vulnerable appears to stop at birth," she wrote.

I've quoted her before, but Sister Joan Chittister's words bear repeating:
If all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed and why would I think that you don't? Because you don't want any tax money to go there. That's not prolife. That's probirth.

Just as the government is moving towards the Church, it seems that the Church is moving towards the government.
More people who think the sanctity of marriage isn't affected by adultery.

Of course, this one also thinks the ten commandments should be posted but not followed.

Thursday, May 5, 2005

FDA to Implement Gay Sperm Donor Rules:

"To the dismay of gay-rights activists, the Food and Drug Administration is about to implement new rules recommending that any man who has engaged in homosexual sex in the previous five years be barred from serving as an anonymous sperm donor."

Or, in other words,

"Under these rules, a heterosexual man who had unprotected sex with
HIV-positive prostitutes would be OK as a donor one year later, but a gay man in a monogamous, safe-sex relationship is not OK unless he's been celibate for five years," said Leland Traiman, director of a clinic in Alameda, Calif., that seeks gay sperm donors.

"[Spokane Mayor Jim] West has led a secret life for more than 25 years. Beyond the serious allegations of sexual abuse, West had been using his position in the Legislature to block gay-rights legislation. And he has been trolling the Internet for young lovers while serving as mayor of Spokane, offering gifts and favors."
And they say that we're in no danger of becoming a theocracy.

Of course, to them, it's not a theocracy if it's Judeo-Christian--it's the way their narrow God intended government to be.

Tuesday, May 3, 2005

"We are working for the best interest of the young girl," [State Department of Children & Families spokeswoman Marilyn] Munoz said.

In case you're not aware what young girl she's talking about, this is in reference to a 13 year-old girl in a foster home in Florida who is 14 weeks pregnant and wishes to have it aborted for several reasons.

The state, of course, didn't want her to:

About two weeks ago, records show, L.G. [this is the only name we have for her] learned she was pregnant. After obtaining counseling, she asked her foster care caseworkers to arrange for her to have an abortion. But before the procedure could be performed on April 26, DCF [Department of Children and Families] lawyers asked [Palm Beach Circuit Judge Ronald] Alvarez to block the abortion.

In court papers, DCF officials said L.G. is too young and immature to make a well-reasoned decision about her pregnancy.

Too immature? Let's see:

"Why can't I make my own decision?"

That was the blunt question to a judge from a pregnant 13-year-old girl ensnared in a Palm Beach County court fight over whether she can have an abortion.

"I don't know," Circuit Judge Ronald Alvarez replied, according to a recording of the closed hearing obtained Friday.

"You don't know?" replied the girl, who is a ward of the state. "Aren't you the judge?"

By the way, Florida "[s]tate law allows minors to have abortions without notifying their guardians. Experts say the law extends to wards of the state, raising the question of why this girl's decision has ended up before a judge."

If you followed the links earlier, you should already know that Judge Alvarez has found her perfectly competent and should be allowed to have the abortion, of course. I'm not terribly concerned with the outcome; I trust the judiciary will allow her to have the abortion. What gets to me is the quote that heads this entry: "We are working for the best interest of the young girl."

They are doing this by trying to force a thirteen year old girl to give birth to a child she cannot care for.

They have her "best interests" at heart when they try to make her give birth, though for her that's about three times more likely to kill her than getting an abortion.

They have the nothing but interest in her now that she wants to terminate a pregnancy, though when she was missing for a month nobody seemed to care:

The judge blasted the DCF, saying the agency never asked the court to issue an order to take the child into custody after her most recent disappearance.

"To say that I am angry at that would be an understatement," Alvarez said. "To rush into this court on an emergency basis because this child is pregnant and wants an abortion, I don't know where our priorities in life are. The priority should have been to make certain that an order to take her into custody was issued as soon as possible, and that she was found and taken off of the streets or wherever she was. But nobody cared."

(Munoz disputes this, but won't say exactly who DCF contacted)

And I'd point out this is only "her most recent disappearance"--she's run away several times now. Has Munoz been interested in finding out why? Or trying to prevent it? Somehow I doubt it.

Sunday, May 1, 2005

From The Daily Show:

Next our merry Gaywatch parade floats to Texas... this isn't gonna be good.

The state House of Representatives in Texas recently passed a bill forbidding gay people from adopting foster children. The measure was drafted by state Representative Robert Talton.

"We do not believe that homosexuals and bisexuals should be raising our children."

He's right; you know, those foster kids oughta be raised by their biological abusive or otherwise unfit birth parents. You know, the reason they were taken away from 'em in the first place.

O'course, since homosexuals are sneaky about their lifestyle, the law also allows state officials to investigate whether suspect foster parents are telling the truth about their sexual orientation. Yeah, you know what's interesting? I'm not ****ing making this up. This would be done through a series of trick questions on the screening applications such as:

"Fill in the blank:

32. At first I was afraid, I was _____.
      (A) Petrified
      (B) Don't know"

As one supporter of the bill told CNN, 'This law is based in science!'

"We also have got to look at research that does show that children in same-sex couple homes are eleven times more likely to be abused, sexually. And I think that that is not an issue that can be ignored. It is a proven fact, and that was a research study done in the state of Illinois."

Wow, hard to argue with that. You know, but, uh, Kyra Phillips on CNN still gave opponent Randall Ellis a chance to respond:

"Well, I certainly haven't seen that research, I've certainly never heard anything like that. No child health-care professional that I have ever spoken to, no-one who has access to any of the credible research being done on these issues has ever mentioned anything close to that."

Actually, y'know, he's right; the study that she mentioned is based on the work of one knucklehead who did a Nexis search on the Internet to compile a scientific research. It's a specious claim. And no doubt, Kyra Phillips will cut through the spin and point out the facts.

"It's an interesting debate, a good debate. Thank you both very much."

Really? Good debate? 'Cause it kinda seemed like the one lady was lying. Kinda blows out on her. Kinda seems like she was making **** up, y'know what I'm saying? Co-anchor Carol Lynn, you gonna let her get away with that?

"I have some opinions about that story. You and I are gonna share 'em during the commercial break."

"We'll be talking about it, that's for sure."


From the Seattle Times, we get this headline: U.S. relying on regime notorious for torture?

Strictly speaking, the answer is no, we're not relying on a regime notorious for torture. We're relying on several.

Suspects have been sent to Syria, Morocco, Egypt and Jordan, countries whose abusive practices have been documented and condemned by the State Department's annual human rights report. "We don't kick the s-- out of them. We send them to other countries so they can kick the s-- out of them," an unnamed official who had participated in the rendering of prisoners told the Post. Along with the prisoner, the CIA provides the foreign intelligence services a list of questions it wants answered.

And which of these countries is the Seattle Times article covering? Wrong. Neither Syria, Morocco, Egypt, nor Jordan, but Uzbekistan (although it does note that "U.S. intelligence officials estimate that the United States has transferred 100 to 150 suspected terrorists to Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Uzbekistan"). So that's around seven countries notorious for torture that we're relying on.

The Bush administration continuously expresses their support for outsourcing torture--despite the fact that it's revoltingly immoral and illegal--by reassuring people that we get promises that these people won't be tortured. Sure. Then what's the point of sending them to these countries? What can Uzbekistan or Egypt do in interrogations that the United States can't?

I might not feel so bad if we didn't have people who vigorously defended abusing alleged terrorists (comments section).