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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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Drive-by postings

I haven't had much time to read, let alone post, recently because I started a new job (where I'm actually busy working and setting up infrastructure) not too long ago. To make matters worse, my mom was just diagnosed with cancer and I'm just popping in as a diversion until she's out of surgery/post-op. I'm sure I'll need a diversion over the next few weeks/months, whether I'll actually have any time is another story. If I don't have a chance to say it before Thursday, I hope ya'll have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

Crypto 'mos strike again

Pam has another story on the ex-gay movement claiming that their conversion to biblically mandated heterosexuality is proof that no-one is really gay, they just choose to ignore G-d's word to appease their deviant sexual desires.
However, one of the conference speakers, Exodus International president Alan Chambers, disagrees. "I myself was a homosexual man 15 years ago," he says, "and for over a decade now, I have been leading a heterosexual life. And it wasn't about me hating myself; it was about me wanting something different than what I found myself struggling with." [Agape Press]

The "ex-gay" movement touts a party line basically claims that those who remain homosexual are really straight people who actively sublimate their feelings and desires for the opposite sex in order to reject G-d's word and fulfill their most base desires to commit sodomy (an act that is apparently acceptable when performed by a "good Christian man", even when it's not consensual). Despite this, I've noticed that the majority of ex-gays substantiate their claims by making statements about their conversion like Chambers' own comment above "I was homosexual then, but now I lead a heterosexual life."

Being heterosexual and leading a heterosexual life are not the same thing. For many years, most homosexuals were forced by society to hide in the closet and lead a socially acceptable heterosexual life (or at least provide the appearance of doing so) - that did not make them straight, it had them living a lie. In principle, they're much like the Crypto-Jews who were forced to feign Catholicism (those who escaped to places like England pretended to be Catholic or Protestant depending on who the crowned monarch was at the time, in other countries some were forced to adapt an appearance of being Muslim), yet they were still Jews most of whom secretly practiced their religion. Centuries later, there are still Catholic families (primarily of Spanish decent) who are finding out that some of their family religious traditions are the vestiges of those who were forced to convert, verifying that purporting to be something you're not and leading a life inconsistent with your nature does not mean you are what society demands you to be.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

and then there were three

Explain how this helps Libby's case. As far as I'm concerned, National Security Advisor's penchant for whispering those sweet nothings known as classified information in to Bob Woodward's ear lends more credence to the suggestions of a conspiracy across the administration to violate their Non-disclosure Agreements and regulations applicable to the handling of classified information in order to advance the WHIG agenda.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Philly adolescent missing

I just got home to an email from Tulin noting that Philly PD issued an alert about 12-year old Hudson Carter who hasn't been seen since 6 PM last night (14Nov05). Hudson is 5'3 and about 180 pounds with brown eyes, a medium brown complexion and short brown hair. He was wearing a white T-shirt & blue jeans when he was last seen.

Hudson suffers from depression and is known to frequent the Cheltenham Mall.

If you have any information about Hudson's disappearance contact the Northwest Detective Division at 215-686-3353 or 215-686-3354.

UPDATE 17Nov05 (courtesy of Tulin): Apparently the Philly PD had his first name wrong, it's really Harrison. Luckily, the error in the first name didn't seem to do any harm, he's been located.


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PA senatorial race: what would Jesus do?

As noted by Kos, Rick "please don't associate me with the Preznit" Santorum has challenged presumed Democratic opponent, Bob "I got my cred the old fashioned way - I inherited it" Casey, Jr to a debate. We all know that the election is a little less than a year away and that, despite the insistence Chuck Schumer and the Republocrat party that all Democrats pretend Casey is running unopposed in the primary, there is a Democrat challenging Casey who is worthy of consideration. Chuck Pennacchio has repeatedly challenged Casey to a debate to no avail, so it's unlikely that Casey's camp will agree to a debate this far in advance, especially since Santorum has a penchant for parading his ignorance and (more recently) and flip-flopping on issues - especially when he is directly affected by the outcome.

Since Santorum has challenged Casey to a debate well in advance of the primary, it's telling that Chuck Pennacchio was not invited as well. Conventional wisdom would dictate that including Pennacchio in a debate would increase his visibility and threaten Casey's presumed landslide victory. The only reason for Santorum to exclude Pennachio would be that he fears that the potential increase in Pennachio's name recognition and the likely outcome of a stellar defeat would make the latter candidate a bigger threat if he were to win the primary. Pennacchio should publicly insist that he be included in a Santorum v Casey debate and that, if/when Casey declines (including a non-response to the challenge), the plan for debate continue between himself and Santorum regardless of Casey's [lack of] participation.

Hat Tip to Albert

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Sunday, November 13, 2005

Science organizations refuse to let creationsists make a monkey out of them

Jennifer Granick's recent Wired News article accusing the science organizations National Academy of Sciences (NAS) & National Science Teacher's Association (NSTA) of abusing Intellectual Property (IP) rights by refusing to allow the Kansas State Board of Education to incorporate their science education standards manuals into the state's public school science curriculum because the state plans to require teaching of religiously based Intelligent Design (ID) into its science curriculum. IP is a really hot topic these days with people using it to claim ownership of intangible ideas and concepts in the midst of sociological academic research and suggestions that the government use eminent domain to wrestle IP and patents from proprietary drug manufacturers and provide them to generic firms (who can sell them at a significantly lower price because they do not identify or develop the drug in the lab or pay to conduct any of the research that goes into proving the compound is safe and efficacious).

Granick likens the refusal by the NAS and NTSA to the stifling free speech when that speech involves complaints of a product's inadequacies and/or election fraud. There is a big diference between the stifling of free speech and refusal to allow an organization to incorporate a curriculum manual for the purposes of adulterating it. What the Kansas state board of education wants to do is assert a claim of the scientific legitimacy of ID by associating it with a respected science education plan (inserting ID into the science education plans of the organizations) when the organizations that created the copywrited material want to maintain the scientific and intellectual integrity of their copyrighted material. The state is trying to have it both ways by maintaining accreditation of their science curriculum by using the NAS and NTSA manuals while undermining the integrity of those manuals by insinuating a program that is inconsistent with the standards of those manuals. The NAS and NSTA, on the other hand, are refusing to permit the state to incorporate the manuals because it would be seen as a tactic endorsement/approval of a revision to the curriculum that does not meet the high scientific standards of those organizations. If the state board of educators is so sure they know so much more about what is and is not science than these organizations do, they should develop their own manuals instead of expecting the science organizations with whom they openly disagree to provide them with the permission they need to use theirs. Kansas can determine what they will mandate as part of their science curriculum, but that does not mean that the rest of us must accept their students as having received an accurate and acceptable science education.

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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Support the troops now so you can screw em over later

How to be a patriotic Christofascist: support the troops by sending them to an unneccessary war without the proper equipment and then turn a deaf ear if they survive to come home. What a happy Veteran's day they can have tomorrow.

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Monday, November 07, 2005

Maybe I really am a guy with a rack

Anyone who believes this has never had the great (dis)pleasure of being in a car with me at the wheel.

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Missing Monday: missing Florida man

35-year old Mazi Bul Haque hasn't been seen since October 30th when he closed the Super Shop 5, a Jacksonville convenience store he owns.
"When he left that was the last time anybody ever heard from him, so anything could have happened," said Amin. "He was needing to go to the bank to make a deposit." Co-workers say they checked Austin Bank and found out the money never got there. When they opened the store the next morning, they say everything was normal. That is, until he didn't show up for work that night." [KTLV]
Haque is 5' 6" weighs 130 pounds, has black hair, brown eyes and a tatoo on his right shoulder. He drives a black 2003 Ford Expedition w/ Florida license plate W31 PYR. Updates can be found at Angels Missing. If you have any information about Haque's disappearance or whereabouts please contact the Cherokee County Sheriff's at 903-683-2271.

Previous Missing Monday posts

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Sunday, November 06, 2005

McCain sells soul for presidential bid

As Pam points out, after enduring the ire of the Christofascists for making a cameo appearance in the fundie-unfriendly movie the Wedding Crashers, little Johnny has decided to roll over in bed in order to make sweet political to them. To this effect, he's not only thrown his support behind Arizona's keep 'mos from marrying amendment & endorsed religion in a lab coat (aka "Intelligent Design"), he's also been actively courting support of Lindsey Graham (potential VP) and had a romantic tête-à-tête with teletubby arch-nemesis Jerry Falwell. As a matter of fact, McCain's now so desperate to shed his moderate credentials he's now supporting Karl Rove by insisting Turdblossom should retain his top secret security clearance despite Karl's own admission he gossips about classified information with people who have no security clearance whatsoever and and be an anonymous source to reporters who plan to publicize that top secret info well before it's safe to declassify the information.

It never ceases to amaze me how those so opposed to sodomy they want legislation to ban it (except when performed on/by a female and/or when the male engaged in sodomy with another male is a Republican) take such pleasure in getting male politicians in the jack-knife position, but then it seems as though McCain really enjoys sticking his ass in the air for the likes of Rove.

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Friday, November 04, 2005

Three Dems and a Republican

Talk about forcing the issue. Democratic Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Joseph Crowley of New York, Jay Inslee of Washington, and Republican Rep. Christopher Shays of Connecticut introduced a bill yesterday that didn't get much press in all the brouhaha of Scalito's nomination and the aftermath of Democratic testicular development in the aftermath of Scooter's indictment.
The measure says the Plan B pill, made by Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc., would be automatically be approved for over-the-counter sale 30 days after the bill's passage, until the agency makes a decision. [Reuters]
I can't wait to watch this move played out!

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what's the purpose of spousal notification?

Shakes has posted about Krauthammer's latest bout of asshattery in support of Scalito's stance on requiring a woman to notify her husband prior to obtaining an abortion. The renewed visitation of one of the late Bob Casey's preferred requirements for obtaining an abortion legally begs an obvious question: what's the purpose of this notification when the woman does not have to obtain her husband's permission to obtain the abortion? Yes, it would be ideal if a couple communicated openly about pregnancy and agreed on its disposition, but this is not always the case.

There are reasons why women don't tell their husbands they are pregnant and planning to have an abortion including, but not limited to: the woman knows her husband played no part in the conception (either due to adultery or due to her entering into a relationship with another man prior to finalization of a divorce); the woman knows her husband would not support her decision to terminate; or there is a legitimate reason to suspect that notification would induce or exacerbate spousal abuse.

Another reason a woman may decide not to inform her husband about her pregnancy and decision to terminate is because the husband is in a situation in which the woman thinks this knowledge may be detrimental to her husband's emotional and/or physical health. [When I was 19 & found out I was pregnant, I struggled not only with a decision whether to terminate but also with if/when to tell my ex-boyfriend and parents. My roommate and friends all thought I should tell my ex to get him to pay for the procedure and were adamantly opposed to my telling my parents. As much as I could have used the financial assistance, my ex had just started rehab in a distant state and I really thought that this bit of info could negatively impact his recovery, so I opted not to tell him anything. I did, however, tell my parents because I thought they had a right to know why I'd been so violently ill.]

While I don't think keeping secrets (especially ones of this magnitude) bodes well for a marriage, I don't think legislation forcing communication about one issue between a couple serves any legitimate state purpose or is in the interests of anyone but those who wish to erect an additional barrier to abortion and reinforce the traditional belief that a woman is subordinate to her husband.

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Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Bush blasting raises awareness of EC

Dubya and his fundie friends have inadvertently done a service to Barr Labs and frightened women who don't want to get pregnent. Thanks to the brouhaha over the FDA's constant captitulation to those who feel a need to refute science on biblical grounds, annual sales of Barr's Plan B alone has doubled in the past two years.
It has generated a ton of publicity, and that almost surely has a consequence of increasing awareness - and awareness is still the biggest barrier to use," said Princeton University economist James Trussell, a longtime proponent of emergency contraception. [Inky]
The heightened publicity has helped reach women prior to being in emergent need such that many rape victims who would not otherwise be counseled about emergency contraception by hospitals and health care providers who put their religious beliefs ahead of appropriate medical treatment and ensuring patients can make informed decisions about treatment/intervention.

The FDA has still not made a final decision regarding approval of OTC/behind the counter status of Plan B despite the fact clinical data supports it's safety and the lame arguments of religious groups such as the claim use of the drug encourages risky sexual behavior & increases sexually transmitted infections are easily refuted.

The latest argument against EC from the religious wingnuts is that easy availability of the drug will assist statutory rapists cover up their crime, a statement that begs the questions as to whether their next campaign will be to remove access to all non-prescription methods of contraception (and or those a man can can advantage of himself) and how they can justify forcing a pregnancy on a female for the sole purpose of obtaining DNA to match to a man in order to press criminal charges? Regardless, the louder and more inane they are, they more they help promote EC to those they are trying to ensure have no accurate knowledge of sex education.

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Monday, October 31, 2005

and right on cue

Scalito's the nominee, to appease the christotheocrats. They'll let you worship how you want but when it comes to anything in life that's not consistent with their orthodox religious views, those who aren't rich or well-connected will be SOL. This will be the big test for the Democratic party and real Republicans (you know, the ones that want to ensure fiscal responsibility, government small & limit invasion into the personal lives of citizens instead of legislating personal issues.

Let's be honest the so-called judicial philosophy of "strict & literal interpretation of the constitution" the repubevangelicals & Preznit claim they want is shown to be pure bunk by the nomination of Sam Alito. As Pam notes, Alito approves of unauthorized strip searches which completely disregards the 4th amendment
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
the reason authorization is necessary prior to a search is to verify that it is not an unreasonable search (tell me what was reasonable in strip searching a woman and her 10-year old daughter when the warrant authorized a search of a man and his home - does the constitution state that females are chattle owned by men and their presence in a man's home makes them his property searchable under such a warrant?

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Sunday, October 30, 2005

The best short-list for SCotUS nominees around

Lost in the fray of the analyses of the first Fitzmas and which christotheocrat activist judge Bush will nominate to fill Sandra Day O'Connor's spot in the Supremes (my guess is Scalito) was the best short-list of judges for the position I've come across. This list was submitted by one of Dan Abrams' viewers. I saw the first name coming a mile away (as did John G) but the last name on the list was not only a complete shocker, it was dead brilliant:

Bernie Flem (ph) in Yonkers, New York has his own list. “Here‘s my short list. Number one, Judge Judy. He says Jewish American female. Number two, Judge Milian, “People‘s Court”. He says Hispanic American female. Number three, Judge Hatchett, African American female. And number four, Judge Reinhold.
As funny as the Judge Reinhold suggestion was, Abrams' admission that he initially tried to figure out what court Reinhold was on made the suggestion even funnier
It did take me a minute to get that one. I‘m asking people around here—I‘m like who‘s Judge Reinhold? Where is he a judge? All these other judges I know from TV. Judge Reinhold -- and I‘m like Judge Reinhold. I get it!
Even my parents know who Judge Reinhold is (something I confirmed when I took them to dinner to celebrate my dad's 74th birthday).

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Saturday, October 29, 2005

The old I forgot to take my ginko defense

It looks like Scooter will be defending himself by saying he didn't intentionally lie or try to impair Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation, he was just so busy doing really important things he plumb forgot how the Valerie Plame outing actually went down. No siree, the #1 guy to America's #2 didn't consistently and intentionally lie to investigators he was just so distracted by "the hectic rush of issues and events at a busy time for our government" that when he reached down into his long-term memory banks he was pretty sure he only engaged in a little innocent gossip mongering with a bunch of reporters.

I, for one, am reassured to know that administration officials like Scooter (and Turdblossom, who's admitted to at least confirming he'd heard the juicy Plame-Wilson tidbit too) seem to
think it's OK to dish classified dirt during routine coffee klatches with reporters because reporters know how and when to keep a secret. For the life of me I can't understand why Fitz and the grand jury didn't buy Libby's Hedda Hopper routine, I wonder if a jury will believe Joe Tate's "Scooter was so busy he even forgot to take his Ginko" song & dance.

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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Boy, this is [not] a shocker

The AP is reporting that Harriet Miers has just withdrawn herself as a Supreme Court nominee. For the life of me, I can't imagine why, but the Preznit has "reluctantly" accepted her request for withdrawal. So who's the next nominee? Priscilla Owen, Janice Rogers Brown, "Scalito" or Harriet's ex-bf Nathan Hecht?

UPDATE 9:30 - the pundits are talking about Ted Olson or Michael McConnell

UPDATE 9:40 - I just heard Arlen Specter's very telling statement in which he said he'd spoken to Miers this morning and she was planning to continue with the process. Hmmmm just re-heard ot. . .she hoped to "move forward". I gather this means in her current role at the WH.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

7 minutes in heaven can get you 15 months in jail?

Kansas state AG Phil Kline's proposed revisions to the state's child-abuse reporting requirements will finally be reviewed by a federal district court in December. Under Kline's suggested guidelines, healthcare providers who are made aware of any sexual activity involving anyone under the age of sixteen must report it to state authorities - even when both parties are consenting minors and/or the healthcare provider is supplied with that information second hand (i.e., a parent asking for advise on how to speak to a teenager who is sexually active). The kicker? Kissing is considered reportable illegal sexual activity under the law (I shit you not)!

While the state has not criminalized sexual activity between consenting children when both are younger than 16, under the the state's “Romeo and Juliet” law, consensual sexual activity between two teens is a crime if the younger teenager is 14 to 16 years old, if the older teenager is under 19, if the age difference is less than four years, & if there are no third parties involved, and if the two teenagers “are members of the opposite sex.” This means that technically, in Phil Kline's Kansas, it's actually illegal for a 17-year old to make out with a 16-year old.

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ice cream indictment man!

psyche! In a move reminiscent of Eddie Murphy's "ice cream man", sources are saying special prosecuter Patrick Fitzgerald won't be making any announcements today but will wait until the grand jury's term expires (this Friday) to do so. According to CNN, some experts have said the extra time may allow for the grand jury to consider other indictments later this week. In the meantime, Raw Story has a developing story indicating that Fitzgerald has asked for indictments against both Karl Rove & Scooter Libby. I feel like a girl anticipating a romantic week-end excursion with her boyfriend wondering if she'll come back with a ring on her finger.

UPDATE 26Oct05 13:37: Raw Story's now reporting that Fitzgerald has asked the grand jury to indict Scooter Libby on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice as he focuses on Cheney's office. Sources also say the prosecutor offered a deal to Dubya's favorite turdblossom to plead guilty to perjury to avoid being charged with obstruction of justice. They indicate that when Libby informed Rove about Valerie Plame's position at the CIA, he neglected to mention that she was a NOC. As I've noted ad nauseaum, the SF-312 Rove signed requires him to confirm that information is not classified prior to disclosing/confirming it - which means he would have claim that Libby told him point blank that the information about Plame was not classified and that he plans to fight charges that he intentionally lied to mislead investigators in furtherance of a cover-up by the administration. Raw Story also notes that 2 officials not employed by the WH may face indictments as well - there's no reference to any possible conspriacy charges.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Twas the night before Fitzmas

'Twas the night before Fitzmas, when at the White House
The President was steaming, and starting to grouse;
Chiefs of staff were bent over, asses in the air,
In fear some indictments soon would be there;

McClellan kept dodging the rumors that spread,
While fears of convictions filled him with dread;
Kay was on TV spewing some crap,
Wondering why Judy wouldn't take the rap.

When down in the District there arose such a clatter,
Bush just kept screaming, mad as a hatter.
Frist called his trustees to ensure he had cash,
by selling his stock before it could crash.

Tension was mounting and starting to grow
as to the grand jury, Fitzgerald did go.
Bush would keep quiet afraid to appear
of being involved with charges so queer.

With lots of integrity, so thorough & quick
there was speculation they may indict Dick.
In spinning that started before the charges that came,
Rove kept repeating he didn't say her name.

"No Hammer! No Cheney! No Harriet, that Vixen!
Promote Condi to VP before they get Bush like Nixon!
The Republican Party must get on the ball,
and accuse Patrick Fitzgerald of having some gall!

DeLay posed for pictures wearing a smile and a tie
after he did laundry then got caught in a lie
but said he had power to make the Democrats cry.
We must not stop asking what the President knew,
just in case we must consider his impeachment too.

Amidst speculation, the prosecutor stayed aloof
though evidence revealed that someone did goof,
and Fitz can lay charges now that he has the proof.
The Democrats were hoping they could turn the country around,
before Dubya & the wingnuts run this nation aground.

Wow, I had no idea how long Twas the Night before Xmas is when I started this! This is the best I could do and I think there were still 5 stanzas left.

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Both Shakes and NARAL have revisted the issue of the Pharmacist's Conscience Unconscionable Clause in the form of a Tuscon sexual assault victim's frantic search to locate a pharmacy that stocked emergency contraction only to find the one area pharmacy that admitted to stocking Plan B was staffed with a pharmacist who refused to fill the prescription on "moral grounds". I've addressed the issue of the Right to Life Impose Religion movement's expansion of their anti-abortion protests to contraception by intentionally mislabeling hormonal contraception including, but not limited to emergency contraception (EC), as an abortifacient. As I've noted, in cases where EC has been (or is allowed to be) denied, pharmacists refusing to fill the prescription for EC that is in stock at their pharmacy and, indeed, those leading a battle to prevent access to EC have the proverbial blood on their hands for all of the post-fertilization/post-implantation abortions they caused women to have by imposing conception on those women. When a patient presents to fill a prescription for EC post sexual assault, anyone that intentionally interferes in the victim's quest to prevent conception by using EC to delay ovulation is part of a co-conspiracy with the rapist by actively adding to the traumatization of the victim by facilitating her impregnation by the rapist.

Healthcare workers are required to put the health of the patient first, if they can not do that for all patients they may serve they need to either avoid working in places where the possibility of being involved in the care in cases they can not participate in or ensure there is always someone else working on their team at the same time to fulfill those tasks they can not. A nurse who is a Jehova's witness can not force someone to find another facility or come back at another time if they need a transfusion of blood products (even if the need for transfusion is not emergent), to do so would be refusing to follow the doctor's orders and interfering with the physician prescribed action plan (nurses who are Jehovah's witnesses have another person on staff who is working at the same time do the transfusion). The same goes for a pharmacist, to refuse to fill a valid and legal medical prescription when the medication is in stock (or lie to say it is not in stock) is interefering with the medical care of a patient. A pharmacist who is a Scientologist is not allowed to refuse filling legal and valid prescriptions to patients because use of particular types of medications are proscribed by Scientology as that would be an imposition of Scientologist's personal views on a non-adherent. Similarly, there is no legitimate reason to allow adherents of any other religion to allow their personal views to interfere with the medical treatment of a patient by an appropriately licensed healthcare practitioner.

Pharmacists who have moral issues with certain medications have multiple legitimate alternatives to prevent them from interfering in medical care while continue to work as a pharmacist including: working at a pharmacy that makes it clear they do not stock or fill prescriptions for [insert type or class of medication here]; working at a mail order/internet pharmacy wherehouse with an agreement they will not be involved in filling prescriptions for medications they find offensive/immoral (while not interfering with those medications or the dispensation of them by another), or ensuring there is always another person on staff with them at the same time who will fill and dispense those prescriptions. If the pharmacist feels that compliance with the latter two alternatives and/or referring the patient to another pharmacy after ensuring that pharmacy has someone on duty to fill the offending prescription in a timely fashion when his/her pharmacy really is out of stock would make him/her a party to the sin of using the offending medication, the pharmacist should refrain from working at a pharmacy that stocks those medications (s)he finds morally objectionable.

We do not force people into professions that may require them to perform tasks they find morally objectionable by way of legislation. For all intents and purposes, those who enter the profession of pharmacist choose their course of study and how to utilize their education of their own volition. The only reason a pharmacist would work in a setting in which (s)he may be the only person on duty permitted to fill a prescription their pharmacy stocks is to intentionally set him/herself up in a position by which (s)he can become a barrier to filling those presciptions. This isn't about rape, sex or abortion, this is about the intentional interferance with medical treatment in an effort to impose one's religion on others, and is a direct violation of the first amendment.

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