seeking knowledge and laughter, putting a bullseye on inaccuracy

Rants

Sometimes you just gotta let loose

War on Christians?

My last credo post comes from a comment on a HuffPo piece deriding the supposed "War on Christians". War on Christians? Do Christians have any idea what life is like for an atheist?

While I am not an atheist, I tend not to separate people in my mind into the two camps of theists V athiests - a dichotomoy that neatly forgets us agnostics. At any rate, I've been talking about this issue with many friends lately.

I recently added Majikthise blog to my aggregator and follow her posts. She linked to this University of Minnesota (go Gophs!) study showing atheists are America's most distrusted minority.

From a telephone sampling of more than 2,000 households, university researchers found that Americans rate atheists below Muslims, recent immigrants, gays and lesbians and other minority groups in “sharing their vision of American society.” Atheists are also the minority group most Americans are least willing to allow their children to marry.

This is just stunning. But in talking about it with friends - and hearing others discuss it on the radio and other media arenas, I realized that atheists are ostracized. Can you imagine an avowed atheist reaching higher office? No.

As Bill Press points out in the HuffPo piece above, Christians account for 85% of the U.S. population and even have a born-again running the country (into the ground - I wonder if God is helping him with that since God speaks through Bush).

The idea that Christians are persecuted in this country is ludicrous. The fact is that Christians have long had a position of privilege in this country and many of us are now working to even the playing field in order to establish the kind of pluralistic, open society our founders philosophized about.

Bill Press is also correct in noting that some Christians want to convert the rest of us and establish a totalitarian theocracy (for the benefit of the people, mind you). I've written about these reconstructionists before. They are the real threat to this country. And it is high time we used the right's tactics against them.

A local right wing blog, People's Republic of Minnesota, posted this quote about recent immigrant demos in California.

We have enough America hating on the left in this country, we don't need to be importing any more.

I'm sick of hearing this "hate America" bullshit. How is it that when the United States decides to run the world and expects me to pay for its right to field 12 (12!!!!) aircraft carrier battle groups across the globe, I hate America because I think it is a stupid policy. Yet, assholes like Grover Norquist who want to drown the government in a bathtub somehow don't "hate America?"

I'm sick of this shit. Next time I run into some prick who wants everyone to abstain from sex until marriage (news flash, sex is fun, can be practiced safely, and best leads to strong relationships when both people know what they want rather than being afraid of their sexuality) and wants to outlaw abortion (and contraception of course - God made sex feel so good so you can only do it when you want a child), I'm going to tell him to pack his bags and fucking move to Mexico. You want to live someplace where the state makes decisions for the women, then go. Stop fucking up my country goddamnit.

We live in a country where the law of the land is that women are not broodmares of the state. If that is what you want, you have plenty of choices. The great thing is that most of them have poorly developed economies, so you'll do great on the exchange rate. Get out. We'll trade your pointy head for someone who wants to work their ass off for a chance at the American dream. Piss off.

What I want to see is the Christians I know - and the Christians that believe Jesus had some pretty good ideas - start to rise up against the bullshit of the narrow-minded right wing of this country and its Robertson / Falwell / Lahaye / Reverend Phelps asshole leaders who claim the title of Christian.

We do not always agree. That is why we call it a pluralistic society. We see things differently. We can work together to solve our problems. Abortion is horrible. As Bush would say, "No one wants to have an abortion, HEH. Having an abortion is a terrible decision. HEH." Stopping abortions is impossible. Incest. Rape. Diseases. Outlawing them may shave the number of abortions by a bit but really just makes them more dangerous. Preventing them means sexual education and accepting that most people want to have sex before they get married.

What it comes down to is respecting your neighbors. If someone disagrees with you or the government, do not marginalize them by saying they hate freedom, the government, or broccoli. You know who else hated this country? 19th century abolitionists. Martin Luther King Jr. The students who forced divestment from South Africa. All labeled America-haters. Maybe a few of them did. But they all worked to make it a better place. They fought to make it live up to its rhetoric. If you don't want to live in a pluralistic, open society, sneak into North Korea. I suggest packing some rations.

Credo

I woke to this in my inbox - care of daddYman:

I do not want science defined by those who imprisoned Galileo

I do not want beauty and culture defined by those who burn or ban books and art

I do not want family values defined by those who sponsored the crusades

I do not want my standards of ethics and morality determined by those who brought us the inquisition

I do not want justice, humanity or compassion defined by those who burned people at the stake or slowly crushed them to death as witches in the name of their God

Throughout the ages, these people have been the enemies of science, art, personal freedom, and free or expressive through. They are at it again, and they are succeeding.

Please save me from those who feel compelled to protect me from that which they are deathly afraid of.

This is from a comment on a post on HuffPo.

Troops in Iraq

I am horrified to report that in the "Age of Information," American troops (who overwhemingly want the U.S. to pull out) have no freaking clue why they are there.

One surprising finding in the poll is that 85 percent of those surveyed believe that the US's main mission in Iraq is to retaliate against Saddam Hussein for his role in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Of course, since all the reasons Bush gave for sending troops to Iraq have proved to be fabricated, exaggerated, or erroneous, their reasons are probably better for morale than any true ones.

Hillary Poster

Hillary in 2008 Poster Mike Flugennock of sinkers.org is a talented artist who does great protest art. He came up with this Hllary in 2008 poster.

Hillary, Hillary, Hillary! What could I possibly say about Hillary Clinton that hasn't already been said about the sensation of having red-hot steel needles plunged into your eyeballs? I'm almost at the point of actually hoping that they do nominate Hillary just for the entertainment value of watching the Democratic Party crater good and hard, one last time, for good -- I've got the beer in the cooler, the popcorn in the microwave and the lounge chairs set up -- so that folks who want real change can sweep aside the wreckage to make room for a real "peoples' party".

My personal opposition to Hillary is motivated largely by her jihad against video games and recent fatwa against flag burning. I should apologize to Islam for associating her political opportunism with the Islamic faith.

More Abortions?

The Missouri House, led by Republicans has declared "MIssouri women need to have more abortions!". This is a surprise move from people who claim to be opposed to abortions.

In order to achieve this questionable goal, Rep. Phillips introduced a motion, later passed, to ban contraceptive funding for income women. This will not result in savings for citizens mind you:

According to the Kansas City Star, the proposal does not save Missouri any money. Rather, it restricts how state agencies can spend $9.23 million set aside for public health programs for people with low incomes who do not qualify for Medicaid.

In fact, it will effectively raise taxes as low-income women will increasingly become pregnant as a result of this change. Whether these pregnant women choose to abort their unplanned children or carry them to term, the state will be required to help them afford their medical bills. This is what happens with medical costs for people who are poor and do not qualify for medicare. For the most part, when they cannot pay their bills, the costs are spread out among the rest of us.

While the choice of when, how, and with whom to have sex is personal, anyone who wants to live in a healthy society without abortions must support having contraceptives easily available. The idea that having condoms freely available will result in what these people consider sinful behavior is absurd and totally misses the fact that people are going to engage in sex regardless of whether they have protection or not.

Thank you fundamentalist Christians for once again making an already troubled country a worse place. You people are not only mean-spirited, your actions directly work against what you claim are your goals. That makes you MORONS.

This is from the state in which some are trying to proclaim Christianity as the offical majority religion. Has anyone in that state read the Constitution?

Addendum:The local New Patriot blog offers a post on the subject.

In 2000, the federal government established a national public health goal of reducing unintended pregnancies by 40 percent over the next 10 years. [Because, well, nearly half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unintended, and that's kinda high.]

The New Patriot post links to this article with some pertinent info.

The United States has one of the highest rates of unintended pregnancy in the industrialized world. Half of the six million pregnancies that occur among American women each year are unintended; of these, 1.3 million end in abortion.

Incompetence

Seriously. Here we have the trial of a person responsible for what many people identify as the most heinous act to occur on American soil. He has confessed. Somehow the government prosecutors are mucking it up. Seriously? Prosecutors are in trouble now for coaching witnesses.

I just wrote about this same thing in relation to the Weather Underground and the inability of the government to convict many people who confessed to their crimes -- all because the government was unable to adhere to its own rules.

Meanwhile, other parts of the government continue to spy on peaceful domestic groups rather than focusing on actual terrorists. I do not believe that the FBI is spying on groups which oppose the status quo as much as it did during COINTELPRO (if you do not know about COINTELPRO, you are a bad American - this is important history) but at this point, I would hardly be surprised if it were.

I don't find government harassment threatening and I it doesn't chill my desires to make change but then I am not some idiot who actually thinks our government is different from any other merely because we have a list of things it is not supposed to do. Wake up call - it mostly ignores the list!

New South Dakota Logo

Feministing blog has reposted the new SD State Logo. A fantastic reminder that abortion bans do not ban abortions - they ban safe abortions. Unwanted fetus' will continue to be aborted - and more women will now die resulting from unsafe abortions.

Most are waiting to see what the Supreme Court will say on the subject, but I am waiting to see what the people of South Dakota do. I suspect they will not do much. For those who want to end abortions - you seriously need to focus on sex education and encouraging safe sex practices. You cannot have it both ways - if you want naively push abstinence only education while banning abortions, you are only going to create more deaths.

Calling All Wingnuts poses a related question:

I brought up one of my favorite forced birth conundrums the other day, guaranteed to make wingnut "life begins at conception" heads explode. If a fire breaks out in a fertility clinic and you can only save a petri dish with five blastulae or a two-year old child, which do you save?...

The audio from that link is mildly entertaining as the talk show host and calling shout at each other but nothing different from what you hear on a daily basis on those shows.

MN GOP CD

Those wascally Minnesota GOP folks are not just sending out a survey to stir up bigotry, they are doing it in a way to collect information from potential voters. This would not be a big deal except that they do not appear to have planned to warn anyone.

Basically, they are sending out hundreds of thousands of CD ROMs to Minnesotans to talk about the dangers of treating homosexuals and lesbians as though they were real people with real feelings who deserve to be able to enter into contractual commitment to each other.

The users enter in some personal data and that data is transmitted to the GOP for their database. When they released some CD's to the media early in the week, there was no warning at this data transmission. After several people and organizations complained that this was inappropriate, the GOP responded, "Oh yeah, well, uh, we uh, we're definitely going to warn people before we do that. Although it would not have been inappropriate to just take that information..." Of course, that is my take on it.

Additionally, when the data is transmitted, there is little security against 3rd party interception - something which the Republicans claim will be fixed before they mail the CDs.

I don't really think this is something unique to the Republicans. I seriously doubt that Dems would have any problems with similarly distributing thinly veiled political propaganda and using it for annoying political advertising - which is to say emailing me a bunch of erroneous sound bites which are designed to confuse me rather than enlighten me about any particular policy.

But in this case, it was the Republicans. And they are dumb.

This story has also been covered on slashdot

Olbermann!

daddYman had turned me onto Keith Olbermann's show on MSNBC called Countdown. Check out this video clip of him eviscerating Bill O'Reilly. Keith is funny. Check out his show at 7:00 pm.

Utopianism and Celebration

This is post #501 on my blog! Thank you to those who have been reading - especially over the last few months - they've been rocky. But I am finished now and trying to catch up on all the stuff I put off for too long during school. Hoping to get a bunch of photos out and complete some contract work.

But first, dealing with Bush's recent press conferences: what the hell is going on? How is that Bush can talk about the war lasting until no one wants to kill Americans and these realists don't laugh their asses off at him? Seriously? Is this any different from hippies who want world peace, man? A little bit absurd wouldn't you say?

Oh yeah, we are gonna build this great peaceful society. Is this rhetoric new or am I just catching on to how absurd it is?

Additionally, does anyone else have a problem with this statement?

And the amazing thing about -- in Iraq, as a part of a broader strategy, to help what I call "lay the foundation of peace," democracies don't war; democracies are peaceful countries.

My GOD!! Are we not a democracy or are we not at war? How many not wars have we recently been in? Is everyone taking crazy pills?

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