Friday, December 30, 2005

oh fer chrissake!

The Catholic League dumps on Comedy Central to nix encore episode of South Park's Bloody Mary episode. The canned episode depicts religious Christians going to South Park in search of healing from what turns out to be the menstrual flow of a statue of the virgin Mary.
Somewhat predictably, the Catholic League was incensed by the satirical portrayal of the Virgin Mary and the pope and by the fact that the episode aired on the day before the Catholic Church celebrated its Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
As usual, the Catholic League missed the point. The show was not a satirical portrayal of the blessed virgin, it was a satirical portrayal of the extremes [Christian] believers go to in search of "miracles" or external affirmation of their faith.

I'm just jewbilant that I'm secure in my faith, but then mine comes with an appropriate admiration of fine art.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

10 Worst Americans of 2005

The Heretik asks,only 10?, though he managed to limit his list to 1 (and it wasn't Paris Hilton). I have to admit I had a hard time limiting my choices to 10, especially since I was really trying to avoid being too partisan. This is what I came up with:

10. Jamie Reynolds who
fabricated stories of a soldier and his young daughter, going so far as convincing a young girl (and her family) she was acting in a movie to maintain an elaborate charade that tugged at the heartstrings of an unsuspecting SIU campus.

9. Tom Cruise for practicing medicine without a license (or training, for that matter). Bonus points for getting Katie Holmes to break her virginity pledge.

8. The DNC and PA Dems for enforcing a facade that Bob Casey, Jr is running in the PA senatorial primary unopposed

7. John Smid and the folks at LIA/R for intellectual dishonesty, among other things

6. [tie] Bill Frist, Tom Coburn and David Hager for egregious lack of clinical judgment/scientific integrity

5. Indiana State Senator Patricia Miller for proposing a law to criminalize "unathorized reproduction" and make marriage a requirement for motherhood

4. John Gibson who actually managed to trump Bill O'Reilly in the faux fox war on Christmas by commiserating with radio host Janet Parshall about how those who follow the "wrong religion" are misbehaving by not supporting forced celebration of Christmas in all public places and then lambasting Keith Olbermann for accurately calling him on it.

3. Texas cabbie Behrouz Nahidmobarekeh for doing something really shitty

2. Michael Brown for doing a "heckuva job" not coordinating FEMA's response to Hurricane Katrina (bdrownie points for managing to get rehired as a consultant)

1. BushCo (this needs no explanation)


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The Book of Daniel

The American Family Association (AFA) has had a cow over NBC's latest threat to the ability of good Christians to maintain their moral integrity. The Christotheocratic revolutionaries have encouraged their followers to email NBC Chairman, Bob Wright, to let him know how much they disapprove of any programming that shows characters engaging in any behavior they find inconsistent with biblical teaching (unless, of course, those characters are clearly shown as evil and punished on earth as they will surely be in Hell).

AFA has provided suggested text for an email, so all members have to do is enter their own subject line (so it would appear as though these are spontaneous and independent messages of displeasure), add their personal information and then hit send. Their letter can easily be adapted to ensure consistency with your personal opinion, or you can email Bob Wright directly with your coments. If you're a regular reader, you know full well I just adapted their text
I am excited that NBC has decided to air "The Book of Daniel," and hope the program is as clever as trailers make it appear. I know that AFA will regularly update its minions as to which companies are buying advertising time on the show and then threaten to boycott products in an effort to ensure all programming available to American citizens is consistent with their religious beliefs.

Christians are told in Hebrews that "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." My guess is that Jesus was a pretty smart guy who would have suggested folks avoid engaging in activities that offend their moral sensibilities despite the fact others do engage in those activities. Obviously the AFA/FoF/CWA don't believe that. It would be beneficial to all if religio-political organizations showed a little more respect for Christians who believe the Bible is the complete, inerrant & literal word of G-d by suggesting that they adhere to their own beliefs and take responsibility for their own actions/behavior.

I ask you to inform all NBC affiliates, in writing, (according to your testimony before a Congressional hearing last year) they are not required to air this program if they choose not to but that the vast majority of TV viewers do not spend their time writing letters complaining about how other people are watching shows they don't like (AFA made this easy for me, otherwise I would have just tuned in without sending any correspondence with your network).

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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

bless me now with fierce tears

Remy Martin
17 August 1987 - 26 December 2005

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Saturday, December 24, 2005

Six Degrees of Separation: the bin Laden edition

Georgie's busy playing his favorite game this year. He actually got to secretly beta-test it for 4 years but now we all know and he's damned proud of what an expert he's become. The rules of the game are pretty simple, if the Preznit can connect you to Osama bin Laden in no more than six (6) steps they have enough evidence to "reasonably" connect you to terrorism and can legally be spied upon/"monitored" without a warrant. This game was set up because the laws under FISA require the government to supply evidence to obtain a warrant within 72 hours after starting to spy on Americans domestically.

As we all know, in these dire times American law (vis-a-vis FISA) places an unnecessary delay on the Preznit's ability to start gathering information and prevent terrorism. According to the administration (and its kool aid drinking supporters), since we are at war (approved by a Congress mislead by BushCo supplied faulty intel), the government can start spying on Americans domestically just because they think they have reasonable evidence that the persons by spied on are potentially involved in plots against these United States of Fundamentalist Christian America. In this instance, the word "reasonable" is defined as having six (6) or less degress of separation to a Osama bin Laden. Examples as follows:
  • Monitoring international calls/emails
    • Connection made in 1 degree
      1. Osama bin Laden is not in the US and a US-based terrorist could contact him or his agents by placing an international phone call and/or sending emails read by someone outside the US
Happy Christmas!

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Thursday, December 22, 2005

Santorum: flop-flops evoved into the new rage in 2005

Virginia's own Rick "I lie, the occasional science guy" Santorum has decided to withdraw his affiliation with the Thomas More Law Center over their involvement in the defense of the Dover PA schoolboard's losing battle to insert theology into science classrooms. It seems as though lil' Ricky is now troubled by folks making policy decisions motivated by their own religious beliefs.

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Sunday, December 18, 2005

The Bush Presidency: well past its expiration date

On the heels of reports that the BushCo has decided the sequal to Viet Nam being played out in Iraq needed the home-court component, it's been revealed the Preznit has gone all the way in the revival by spying on phone calls between folks in the US and those overseas. King George has not only admitted that the story of his illegal wiretapping and spying on US citizens is true, he's lambasted the NYTimes, which previously shilled his policies and served up supersize portions of WHIG propaganda via Judy Miller, as having jeopardized nationla security. [emphasis added]:

"In the weeks following the terrorist attacks on our nation, I authorized the National Security Agency, consistent with U.S. law and the Constitution, to intercept the international communications of people with known links to al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations.

Before we intercept these communications, the government must have information that establishes a clear link to these terrorist networks. This is a highly classified program that is crucial to our national security. Its purpose is to detect and prevent terrorist attacks against the United States, our friends and allies."

Yesterday the existence of this secret program was revealed in media reports, after being improperly provided to news organizations. As a result, our enemies have learned information they should not have, and the unauthorized disclosure of this effort damages our national security and puts our citizens at risk. Revealing classified information is illegal, alerts our enemies, and endangers our country." [full transcript]

While stomping for the reauthorization of the unPATRIOTic Act, the boy blunder made it crystal clear that Busheviks do not have to abide by any laws. After all, the PATRIOT ACT gave his administration unheard of latitude and yet he still resorted to illegal activities to spy on Americans at home.

I'm sure I'm not the only who thinks it's telling that Dubya has clearly stated that revealing classified information to the press is illegal while supporting those within his administration who were the sources of the leak of Valerie Plame's name. It sounds like he's revealed that in his government leaking classified information is an act of heroism when national security is at risk (i.e., revealing the name of a CIA operative) but it's downright treasonous when the security of the Bush Administration/Republican Party is what's at stake.

And here I thought the President was supposed to uphold the Constitution, not take a wiz on it.

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Sunday, December 11, 2005

Hymn of the Red Herring

The talking heads at Faux News and the latter day False Prophets are in the midst of the new advent tradition in which they bleet the #1 chant on the Christmas Top 40. Like any bad song with a catchy (or politically expedient) hook, it's gotten stuck in the heads of so many folks that in the MSNBC poll on the topic the results are split with 49% of 32073 respondents (as of right now) voting that they do believe there is a war on Christmas. I sincerely believe that the people who think non-Republicans are de facto supporters of the Anti-Christ are the same folks who write send nastygrams to actors because they believe they are the TV/movie characters they portray. Even if the "real Christians" were right and those other people are doing the Satan Sashay, that "goddamned piece of paper" gives those dancing the heathen hustle as much right not to have Christianity forced on them in every public aspect life as it gives "real Christians" the right not to have to endure Satanic rituals in locations paid for with taxpayer money and run by government officials.

Pieces of property not owned by the government such as private homes, storefronts and shopping malls, as well as companies not owned by the government frequently may have sections visible to the public but are not part of the public domain. As such, the rules they follow are based solely on the whim of those who own/manage them (provided those rules are compliant with local, state and federal laws). Since the "real Christians" believe the previously mentioned old piece of parchment should only be used to support their goals while trampling on the rights of others, they feel that any private business (whether it's work includes interaction with the general public or has limited clientele) must cater to the demands of "real Christians" everywhere. These "real Christians" are downright offended by the denigration of their religion when anyone refers to an office/staff party held in December as anything but a Christmas Party (they must love the big corporations who push back their parties until January) and the use of phrases like "Happy Holidays" and "Seasons Greetings" on retail ads, store displays and cards mailed out by businesses this time each year. They know that New Year (a holiday that frequently generates people to provide others with well wishes) occurs in a completely different season from Christmas, so using the excuse of including good wishes for that (or any other holiday occuring within a month of Christmas) to explain use of those anti-Christian phrases is not acceptable. Afterall, if that's what they mean they could just as easily say "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year", could they not? Attempts at multi-culturalism for any reason are unacceptable, especially at Christmas time.

To avoid being accused of religious intolerance all public locales, especially retailers, must have Merry Christmas signs, Christmas sales and
Christmas trees; To link the period of time after that satanic holiday of Halloween through completion of post-holiday sales with anything broader than Christmas is a sign of hostility and agression toward the beleaguered and under-represented religion of Christianity. To the social conservatives (who have a lock on patriotism), this is not only evidence of the war against Christmas, it's downright un-American.

Let's be honest, if there's any "war on Christmas" it's being waged by the mouthpieces of the Conservative movement. The fact that their focus is on what people say voluntarily, business communications and retail ads instead of keeping Christ in Christmas by supporting a return of the celebration to the religious holiday it is instead of the corporate mall holiday it has become.

The Repubevangelicals need to decide once and for all if Christmas is a holiday devoid of religious meaning/overtones or if it is a sacred Christian religious holiday. If it is the former, they cannot legitimately complain that their religion is being undermined by stores having holiday displays and sales or generic holiday greetings in lieu of using the word Christmas all over the place (frankly, they'd have more ground to stand on complaining about us referring to Independence Day by the date on which it occurs instead of the name of the holiday). If it is a distinctly religious holiday, the battle they're fighting is one that explicitly undermines its celebration as such.

Christmas is all about the celebration of the communion to celebrate the birth of Jesus of Nazareth - something Christians who feel their religion is a source of connection with G-d and a way of life they embrace (as opposed to those who feel their religion is something they must disrespect by forcing it on others) consider a miracle and the first time the being they consider their Saviour revealed himself to the world. Cards, trees, decorations and retail merchandising have nothing to do with the meaning of Christmas. If you believe that any celebration of Jesus is a celebration of G-d giving his only son to show his love for the world, your celebration of any religious holiday related to Jesus should be a way to honor G-d's gift to you. Anyone who opts to distract from that meaning is not a much of a Christian. If I as a non-believer can understand that, shouldn't believers start questioning the motives of those perverting faith with politics?

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Friday, December 09, 2005

Georgia legislators introduce O'Reilly bills

Georgia State Sen. Ronnie Chance (R-Tyrone) and State Rep. Clay Cox (R-Lilburn) filed companion bills to prohibit government agencies (including schools) from barring employees (and students) from saying "Merry Christmas", "Happy Chanukah" (you really hear a lot of that on your average American public school playground) or "any other expression relating to the celebration of a holiday." According to the lawmakers, they introduced the measures because they'd heard reports that an unidentified public school principal in the northeastern part of the state enacted a policy banning teachers from referring to their staff party as a "Christmas" party.
"Our First Amendment right to free speech cannot be destroyed by political correctness run amok," Chance said. He added: "I don't believe government was created to be the speech police." State Rep. Clay Cox [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
These bills and the debate, if any (this is Georgia afterall) they face in next year's legislative session are a complete waste of time and taxpayer money. There is no evidence that any government agency in this country has even considered issuing regulations banning use of the phrase "Merry Christmas" (never mind the fact it would be blatantly unconstitutional to do so). Even if the unknown principal had told staffers the party was to be considered and referred to as a holiday party, (s)he was not prohibiting staffers or students from wishing others a Merry Christmas. This red herring is dressed in green. The bulk of the fundagelical fit-pitching is that retailers are using the phrases "Happy Holidays" and/or "Seasons Greetings" in their ads and store displays and that many businesses
voluntary send generic holiday cards (instead of Christmas cards) to their clients. It looks like the person who is doing the most to "diminish and denigrate" the religious holiday of Christmas is really the Christofascist's bile-belching mouthpiece
"There is no reason on this earth that all of us cannot celebrate a public holiday devoted to generosity, peace, and love together."
[ Bill O'Reilly, 2Dec05]

[hat tip to Lindsay]

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Thursday, December 08, 2005

Anne Coulter's taste for rarities

"I love to engage in repartee with people who are stupider than I am," Coulter told the 2,600 people at Jorgensen Auditorium. [Newsday]
It only took her 15 minutes to realize she needed to head back to the Fox News studio to find folks to fit the bill.

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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

SOL on XMas day

Megachurch leaders are joining in with those bastions of religious hypocrisy like Bill O'Reilly by proving the point they believe Christmas belongs everywhere but the church. While Christofascist leaders, Megachurch congregants and pastors & conservative pundits proclaim use of phrases like Happy Holidays & Seasons Greetings, especially in places that don't erect creches, are a prime example of the "secular war on Christmas" and an attack on their ability to express their Christian faith and pray, many Megachurches will be closed on Christmas Day. Yes, Megachurch attendees will find their church doors locked on the day of their second holiest holiday (Easter's the biggy), which happens to fall on a Sunday (that'd be their day of worship).

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Monday, December 05, 2005

Missing Monday: 39-year old western PA woman missing

Patricia McDonald of Forward Township (Western Pennsylvania) hasn't been seen or heard from since 2:30 am Sunday November 29th. When the 39-year old mother of 3 last spoke to her common-law husband, Daniel Conley, she told him she had been pulled over by police near Large Auto Sales on Route 51 in Jefferson Hills, PA and that her cell phone went dead during the conversation. Further attempts to reach McDonald were unsuccessful and she had not reported to work she was reported missing.

Local police believe McDonald has disappeared of her own volition, stating she has disappeared in the past and that cell phone records indicate she was not near Large Auto Sales at the time she made the call. McDonald's 19-year old daughter Amber, who is pregnant and expecting to deliver her first child December 18th, disputes claims her mother has a history of disappearing
"She'll go out for a couple hours, but if she's going to be longer, she'll call," Amber McDonald said.
McDonald is 5'6", weighs about 115 pounds and has brown hair & blue eyes.

She was driving a 1997 red Dodge 1500 Ram pickup truck with license plate number YRL-9861. If you have any information you are asked to call Forward Township police at 724-258-7895.

Good news to update my October Missing Monday post: Erik Buran is now home with his father and they'll be able to enjoy their Christmas together (full details at Voice for the Missing) and 15-year old Whitney Stewart is no longer listed as missing on National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. In addition, there has been contact from Mazi Bul Haque (November's Missing Monday) who has been in contact with a Cherokee County detective but will not say where he is citing fear for his safety.

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Saturday, December 03, 2005

Still petulant after all these years

Bill O'Reilly took a small sojourn from the conservative war on Christmas (stripping the meaning of Jesus' life and teachings from the holiday and replacing it with crass commercialism in the retail domain, where it does a Christian good) to spend some time with that proctologist's dream, Ann Coulter. Coulter, widely known as an extremely sloppy revisionist, and O'Reilly spent much of last Thursday's O'Reilly Fudge Factor commiserating on how hard it is to be a conservative because only conservative speakers need security detail when making appearances on college campuses and how liberals are bad people fighting against freedom of speech who consider it appropriate to use force and acts of destruction/violence to attack those with whom they disagree.
O'REILLY: Yeah, but on a policy basis, what they're trying to do on these far-left smear sites is intimidate people with whom they disagree, and then choke off their ability to get their message out. I mean, freedom of speech means nothing to these people. They really want to just bludgeon anybody with whom they disagree, or am I wrong?

COULTER: No, you're right, though. I mean, the one thing that perplexes me is why they want to keep me off only CNN. You know, why not Fox? Why not MSNBC?

O'REILLY: Well, they know that Fox isn't going to play their game.

COULTER: David Brock has something against MSNBC?

O'REILLY: Yeah, they know Fox isn't going to play their game.

COULTER: What about MSNBC?

O'REILLY: Nobody watches them, with all due respect. I mean, it's true. Nobody watches the network. It doesn't mean anything.

COULTER: Well, I think it's an excellent use for George Soros's money to keep republishing the things I say on CNN.

O'REILLY: OK, but to answer your question, CNN is perceived to be a left-wing outlet, and they don't like your voice on the left-wing outlet. But, you know, aren't liberals or far-left people supposed to be champions of freedom of speech? Isn't that what the ACLU [American Civil Liberties Union] is all about?

COULTER: No, of course not. They're Nazi block watchers. This is what they're good at.

O'REILLY: They're Nazi what?

COULTER: Block watchers, you know. They tattle on their parents, turn them in to the Nazis. They're little Nazi block watchers.

O'REILLY: See, this is why they don't want you on CNN there. You're calling them Nazis. They don't -- [Media Matters]
Coulter complains that liberals react like 4-year olds. I don't know about you, but I much prefer the liberal's 4-year old reaction than the christofascist's perpetual foray into the terrible twos.

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