Category Archives: quackery

Sister Margaret Farley censured by Vatican for thought crimes. Still no censure for child-raping priests.

What continues to amaze me about the Church’s focus on this nun is the length to which they will go to punish the words and thoughts of religious women, while utterly failing to punish the significantly more harmful actions of religious men.  If you’re a wrong-thinking nun, the Catholic Church will censure you.  If you’re a priest who rapes children, Cardinal Timothy Dolan will reward you with $20,000.

Sister Margaret Farley Denounced by Vatican –

Sister Farley has clearly stated that her book is not intended to be read as a statement of Catholic doctrine.  From the article:

Sister Farley, a past president of the Catholic Theological Society of America and an award-winning scholar, responded in a statement: “I can only clarify that the book was not intended to be an expression of current official Catholic teaching, nor was it aimed specifically against this teaching. It is of a different genre altogether.”

The book, she said, offers “contemporary interpretations” of justice and fairness in human sexual relations, moving away from a “taboo morality” and drawing on “present-day scientific, philosophical, theological, and biblical resources.”

On the plus side, because the Catholic hierarchy is totally ignorant of the Streisand effect, their official censure of Sister Farley’s book has catapulted it into the Amazon best sellers list.


Catholic Church not OK with paying for contraception, but A-OK with paying for priests who rape children

Honestly, when can we all just admit that the Catholic hierarchy has absolutely no grounds to claim moral authority on any topic at all, but particularly on the topic of human sexuality.  Seen on CNN:  Top U.S. archbishop linked to abusive priest payout plan.

According to this story, Archbishop Timothy Dolan was perfectly willing to hand out $20,000 a pop to his priests who he knew were raping kids.  On the other hand, Dolan is really, really, really against any church affiliated organization, such as a Catholic hospital, having to include contraception in their insurance plans for their non-Catholic employees.

If I really thought there was a hell, I can say with absolute certainty that these assholes will be rotting there.


Late to the Tapley party

I really, really, really love end-times conspiracy theorists.  I hosted a Harold Camping apocalypse cocktail event last May, which was unfortunately ruined by the lack of an apocalypse.

How have I missed William Tapley aka the Third Eagle of the Apocalypse aka the Co-Prophet of the End Times?  That is one helluva string of titles right there.

Anyway, here he is holding forth on the murals at the Denver International Airport, which in fairness, are really weird.

Fuck yeah.  Let’s take that magical thinking allllllll the way to its conclusion.

Dear Kirk Cameron and Not-Joe the Not-Plumber, tolerance doesn’t mean I have to agree with you.

Nor does “tolerance” mean that you get the right to spout your noxious, vile opinions, and everyone else has to shut up and listen.

So, Kirk Cameron appears on Piers Morgan for an interview.  For those of you who do not know, Kirk Cameron has developed into a radical fundamentalist Christianist, who denies evolution, and is virulently anti-gay.  Why did he get an interview slot on Piers Morgan?  Who the fuck knows.

Anyway, Piers asks Kirk several questions about his radical anti-gay views.  Kirk responds by saying that he believes that homosexuality is sinful, unnatural, and “ultimately destructive” to civilization.  He is thereafter criticized, heavily, for that statement.

In response to the criticism, Kirk says this:

I should be able to express moral views on social issues, especially those that have been the underpinning of Western civilization for 2,000 years — without being slandered, accused of hate speech, and told from those who preach ‘tolerance’ that I need to either bend my beliefs to their moral standards or be silent when I’m in the public square. I believe we need to learn how to debate these things with greater love and respect. I’ve been encouraged by the support of many friends (including gay friends, incidentally).

Similarly Samuel Wurzelbacher, otherwise known as Joe the Plumber, which is weird, because his name is not Joe, and he is not a plumber, appeared recently on CNN.  Having just won a Republican primary in Ohio, there was at least a legitimate reason for him to appear on CNN, I suppose.  Anyway, he is also asked about his publicly expressed, radical anti-gay views, including a prior statement that he wouldn’t let any gay people near his children.  Samuel gets all testy about the line of questioning, referring to them as “gotcha” questions, and finally saying the following:

I’m allowed to have my opinions as an American, but it seems the left becomes very intolerant when you have an opinion other than what they state.

Kirk, Sam, I hate to break it to you, but “intolerance” does not mean what you think it means.  Yes, you are allowed to have your opinions.  CLEARLY, you are allowed to have and express your ignorant, hateful, vile, prejudiced, small-minded, mouth-breathing opinions.  If you were not, you would not be invited on nationally broadcast television programs.

However, the right to have and express your opinions does not include the right to be immune from criticism.  Nor does it include the right to prevent me from having and expressing my opinion, which is that your opinions are utter shit.

Taking a moment

I am not normally inclined to talk about the personal here, but I need a safe place to kvetch a little.  My billing year ends on December 15, and I have approximately 90+ hours that I still need to bill.  This may be a little too inside-baseball-ish for the non-lawyers, but only 40+ hours of that requirement is for revenue generating files; that is, actual legal work, like research, brief writing, responding to pleadings, and drafting opinions.  50 or so of those hours are intended to be “administrative work,” which includes everything that isn’t revenue generating.  I can easily bill 40 hours on actual legal work.  I could do that in my sleep.  But, this administrative bullshit is killing me.  The managing attorney in my department tells me that it doesn’t matter, but after years of experience in the corporate world, I know that not meeting that goal can only hurt me.

Now, the extra administrative burden was there because my company had this plan for all employees to participate in a two day seminar-type thing.  At some point in the middle of the billing year, they jettisoned that plan.  Also, although last year we could bill the hours that we spend on mandatory continuing education to administrative time, this year we were told that we had to do that all on our own time.  The explanation for that is the somewhat nonsensical claim that maintaining our license to practice by participating in state mandated CLE doesn’t have anything to do with our job.  Yeah.  I can’t really imagine how fast they would fire me if I let my license lapse.  Anyway, the point is that for various reasons, I did approximately 40 hours of CLE this year, which, if I had been allowed to bill for it, would go a long way towards covering my extra administrative hours.

The icing on the cake is that I could bill 90+ hours to legal work in the next eight days.  It wouldn’t be comfortable, but I could do it.  However, I have also been informed that I should really avoid billing over my target for revenue generating files.  First, because it doesn’t help me any.  I work in house, so I don’t get any more of a bonus for billing over my target.  Second, because billing over my target only makes management more inclined to raise the bar for next year.

I have no idea what to do.  I’m going to either have to accept a deficit in my goal for administrative hours, or accept criticism for meeting my total hours goal by billing to revenue generating files, and potentially screw myself for next year.

Life would be so much simpler if my job performance was actually measured by my job performance, rather than arbitrary bullshit.

“Alternative” medicine isn’t medicine, and sometimes it’s a death sentence

I’ve been following the story of Steve Jobs’ pursuit of “alternative” treatments to his pancreatic cancer with some interest, mostly because it is an exact replica of the period of time that lead up to the death of my uncle.  Well, an exact replica except for the gigantic personal wealth and fame part….

My uncle was a chiropractor of the more traditional sort.  That is, he truly believed that he could treat and cure disease through chiropractic therapies.  This, of course, made him more likely to believe all sorts of crazy things.  He was a fan of homeopathy, and thought that herbal and vitamin therapy was also curative.  I remember when my grandmother, his mother, was moved to an assisted care facility, he showed up with a gigantic ziploc bag full of bottles of pills made from things like cow urine.  He gave the bag to the nurses and instructed them to dispense them to my grandmother with her meals.  While we were standing in the hallway outside my grandmother’s room, he held his hand out straight towards me in the air with his fingers extended, and explained that he could diagnose which parts of the body were causing problems by which fingers trembled.

My uncle was diagnosed with colon cancer.  They caught it early, and it very likely could have been “cured,” if that’s the appropriate word, by a combination of surgery and chemotherapy.  Instead, he elected to treat himself through a combination of chiropractic, a juice diet, and the aforementioned herbal and vitamin supplements.  He died within a year of diagnosis.  I am still uncertain how I feel about the whole thing.  On the one hand, this was his choice.  Presented with the options of scientifically and medically sound treatments, or total bullshit, he went with the bullshit.  I get it with him.  He was in his sixties at the time, and his entire adult life and sense of himself was based on chiropractic treatment being legitimate and respectable.  On the other hand, he pushed this stuff on other people.  Other people who looked at him in his white doctor coat as a figure of authority, and who likely believed him when he said that he could cure what ailed them.

Apparently Jobs ended up regretting that he didn’t turn to traditional surgical and medical treatments earlier.  It’s a little mind-boggling to me when someone who is so clearly intelligent engages in such destructive magical thinking.  It makes me wonder how many people have died much earlier than they should have, because of irrational beliefs in quack treatments.

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