Tag Archives: politics

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.

 


Mitt Romney: Sociopath or just Chet from Weird Science?

Today I read this:

Mitt Romney’s prep school classmates recall pranks, but also troubling incidents

..and it honestly freaked me right out.

It’s a Washington Post article by Jason Horowitz about how Mitt Romney was (and probably still is) a total sociopath during his tony prep school days.  In one incident, memorable to all who participated (except for Mitt Romney who claims no recollection), Mittens led a small horde of other prep school students into an assault on another student.  Apparently the other student, a year behind Mitt in school, had returned from spring break with floppy, bleached blonde hair, which was unacceptable to young Mittens.  Our fearless psychopath and wannabe POTUS led an assault on the kid, and while his crew held the guy down, Mitt cut off his hair.

What the hell.

Anyway, after picking my jaw up off the floor, in an effort to save my sanity, my brain made an inevitable connection.  Watch the following video and try to deny that Mitt and Chet are the same goddamned person.

 


Boston Review — Corey Robin and David V. Johnson: Contraception and Counterrevolution The Reactionary Mind, conservatism

Lovely interview with Corey Robin, the author of The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin.  He makes an excellent point, flagged on Digby’s Hullaballoo, which is that although liberals frequently express astonishment at what we perceive to be the conservative base voting against their own self-interest, this is not necessarily true.

As Robin notes in the interview:

I don’t have a theory of false consciousness; I don’t think anyone’s being distracted. I think the right really does deliver the goods of power and privilege to more than an elite class. And the way it does that is often through the private life of power, the slave plantation being, of course, the most obvious form, but the family and the workplace also being critically central. Burke understood this—that our identity is a historical inheritance, and one of the main aspects of that inheritance is this private relationship of power and domination. And that relationship is so close to us that to give it up would really be a form of self-destruction.

And as Digby further states, noting that conservatives have a different definition of what their self-interest is:

They believe that giving up their private power would be far more destructive than giving up political power. Sure, right wing politicians are all liars and cheats and do anything they can to hold on to their public power. That’s the gig. But to the true believers their central concern is losing the privilege that defines them. And it isn’t really about money, although that’s tangentially part of it. It’s about hierarchy, status and dominion.

Click the link for the entire interview, which is great reading.  I know what I’m downloading onto my Kindle next.

Boston Review — Corey Robin and David V. Johnson: Contraception and Counterrevolution The Reactionary Mind, conservatism.


John Boehner and NOM

In an editorial today, the New York Times takes note of the horrific contents of unsealed National Organization for Marriage (NOM) memos, pointing out that the contents of the memos clearly identify NOM as a purely political organization, despite its claim to be a social welfare organization.

Among the highlights are the following:

The documents brag about its “crucial” role in passage of Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage that was overturned by a federal appeals court. They describe the group’s use of “robo-calls” to scare residents in different states away from supporting marriage equality. They talk of a plan to “expose Obama as a social radical,” but the most appalling portions deal with the group’s racially and ethnically divisive strategies.

“The strategic goal of the project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks — two key Democratic constituencies,” says one memo.

Another stated aim is to manipulate Hispanic voters by making the exclusion of gay people from marriage “a key badge of Latino identity.”

Although I am sure that the evidence, as usual, will fail to convince those who need convincing, it should be painfully obvious that NOM consists of horrible, hateful people whose entire existence revolves around constant attempts to insure that other people are miserable and oppressed.

However, I took special note of the paragraph following the above, in which the NYT noted that House Speaker John Boehner recently appointed NOM’s co-founder, Robert George, to a U.S. commission “focused on addressing religious intolerance and extremism around the globe.”  This is the same Speaker Boehner who is wasting hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to defend the indefensible DOMA in court.

Aside from the obvious prejudice and desire to oppress and marginalize, I do wonder what’s the connection between Boehner and NOM?


Voice of Choice – turnabout on anti-abortion harassment is fair play

Fantastic article in the Washington Post on how the landlord of an abortion clinic chose to respond to anti-abortion harassment:

A clinic’s landlord turns the tables on anti-abortion protesters – The Washington Post.

Todd Stave owns the building in which LeRoy Carhart operates.  Carhart is one of the few doctors in the country who does late-term abortions.  In addition to protesting at the clinic, the forced pregnancy freak show began harassing Stave, including calling him at home and showing up at his daughter’s school.  In response, Stave recorded the telephone numbers and addresses of the people who were harassing him, and distributed them to what began as a small group of friends, who then called the harassers at home.  Since then, the group has gotten much bigger.  Stave founded an organization called Voice of Choice, and its thousands of volunteers will respond, in a calm and measured way, to the harassing tactics of the forced pregnancy crowd.

I love this guy.


Why knowing about ALEC is important

Paul Krugman has a must-read piece up on the influence of the shadowy corporate-sponsored group, American Legislative Exchange Council (“ALEC”), on state legislatures.

For one thing, the “shoot first, avoid arrest” bill that has allowed Trayvon Martin’s killer to avoid charges was drafted by ALEC.  ALEC has also provided multiple state legislatures with voter ID bills intended to suppress the votes of minorities, the poor, and the elderly.  It should be a surprise to no one that many members of ALEC are the corporations that are bring us the privatized prison-industrial complex, and who are also bringing us privatized, for-profit schools that are bringing profits to its members at the expense of actual education.

We are looking at a very, very bleak future for the vast majority of our citizens if ALEC continues to write our state’s laws unchecked.


Ladies heading into the election season, never forget that Republicans hate you!

The same Wisconsin Republican shitheel legislators, Glenn Grothman and Don Pridemore, famous previously for introducing Senate Bill 507, which specifically blames single mothers for child abuse, are now on the record as discouraging women from seeking divorce, even in instances of abuse.

Pridemore, in his infinite wisdom, helpfully explained that abused women should just send their thoughts back to what originally attracted them to their husbands to begin with.

Close your eyes and think of England, ladies.


Exposure to chemicals in the environment possible root cause of obesity epidemic

Washingtons blog has a somewhat terrifying article up about our exposure to chemical toxins, and how it may be a major contributing factor to the obesity epidemic.  Many of the chemical toxins contained in plastics and other common household products act as endocrine disruptors in the human body, and can have permanent effects on how our bodies regulate weight.

From the article:

Consumption of the widely used food additive monosodium glutamate (MSG) has been linked to obesity.

Pthalates – commonly used in many plastics – have been linked to obesity. See this and this.  So has achemical used to make Teflon, stain-resistant carpets and other products.

Most of the meat we eat these days contains estrogen, antibiotics and  powerful chemicals which change hormone levels. Modern corn-fed beef also contains much higher levels of saturated fat than grass-fed beef. So the meat we are eating is also making us fat.

Arsenic may also be linked with obesity, via it’s effect on the thyroid gland. Arsenic is often fed to chickens and pigs to fatten them up, and we end up ingesting it on our dinner plate. It’s ending up inother foods as well.

A lot of endocrine-disrupting pharmaceuticals and medications are also ending up in tap water.

Moreover, the National Research Council has found:

The effects of fluoride on various aspects of endocrine function should be examined further, particularly with respect to a possible role in the development of several diseases or mental states in the United States.

Some hypothesize that too much fluoride affects the thyroid gland, which may in turn lead to weight gain.

Antibiotics also used to be handed out like candy by doctors.  However, ingesting too many antibiotics has also been linked to obesity, as it kills helpful intestinal bacteria. See this and this.

 Now, considering that corporate industry is responsible for the majority of these environmental toxins, and has been profiting off the use of them, isn’t it reasonable to suggest that their tax rate should be increased to help alleviate the harms they are causing to the general public?  If the development of diabetes in an individual can be directly traced to his or her exposure to environmental toxins produced by corporate industry, why should that individual be subject to the crushing costs of health care?  Taxes on corporate profits should reflect the extent to which pollution and toxins are destroying our health and our environment.

Are your insurance premiums helping pay for the Catholic Church’s sex crimes?

I assume that everyone who has a television or even just glances at the news online every now and again is aware of the current temper tantrum being thrown by newly elevated Cardinal Timothy Dolan and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops over whether the employees (non-Catholic and Catholic alike) of their publicly funded institutions (such as hospitals) are entitled to insurance coverage for contraception.  The USCCB’s bullshit argument is that the minuscule amount that the Catholic Church contributes to the payment of the insurance premiums is enough to violate their religious principles that women should be nothing more than meat envelopes, suitable for the temporary storage of either penises or fetuses.

I also assume that the same group of “everyone” is more than vaguely aware that the Catholic Church has been aiding and abetting its priests in the rape of children for the past several decades, and has been subject to a barrage of litigation because of it.

One thing that I will not assume that “everyone” knows is that the Catholic Church’s insurers, who have issued liability policies to the Church over the past many decades, are the source of a major portion of the funding that goes towards defending and settling these lawsuits.  Who are those insurers?  Basically every major property and casualty insurer in the market.  We are talking about decades of insurance coverage.  Although the actual priest/rapists themselves are not eligible for insurance coverage, due to the fact that insurance does not cover intentional acts, the Church itself is eligible.  This is because the plaintiffs also include causes of action against the Church for negligent hiring and negligent supervision.  Negligent acts are eligible for coverage, intentional acts are not.  That’s not really here nor there, though.

My point is that if we accept the bullshit argument being put forward by the USCCB that its small contribution towards payment of insurance premiums is enough to violate the conscience of the Church, then we should also accept that any premium dollars paid by anyone to an insurance company that does or has covered the Catholic Church for its liabilities violate the consciences of people who are opposed to child rape.

I don’t know about you, but I’m opposed to child rape, and I am opposed to my premium dollars contributing to the Catholic Church’s decades of sex crimes.


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.


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