Friday, December 29, 2006

A belated Christmas present for the Christotheocratic set

Holy cow, I haven't posted since August but I guess there hasn't been a story quite as explosive as what I read in this morning's Telegraph to force me to sit down and comment. In case you haven't read it, British researchers have found that women who keep their houses tidy are less likely to develop breast cancer. Understand, the protection doesn't come from just having a clean house, it comes from the act of being a good housewife [emphasis mine]:
Previous studies have identified a link between exercise and reduced breast cancer risk in post-menopausal women, but this is one of the first to include a large number of pre-menopausal women.

The researchers analysed data on work, leisure and housework activity levels among 218,169 women aged 20 to 80 from nine European countries including the UK.

They followed the women for an average of 6.4 years, during which time 3,423 developed breast cancers. When all forms of activity were combined, being active appeared to offer a protective effect only to post-menopausal women.

However when the results were examined in more detail it was found that women who did the most housework had significantly reduced risks while work- and recreation-based activity had less effect.

I'm sure it's only a matter of time before folks like Rick Santorum, Daddy Dobson and his FoF minions, et. al. latch onto this as yet another reason to lead us back to the days of "traditional marriage". For my part, I better get myself a mammogram ASAP considering I've yet to birth a baby and housekeeping is most definitely not my forte!

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Friday, August 25, 2006

Jews for Jesus prove deception is their golden rule

The evangelical missionary movement "Jews for Jesus" have spent over 30 years actively trying to convert Jews to Christianity by telling them that a belief that salvation can only come through Jesus as the messiah is consistent with Judaism. In fact, this is far from true. While Christianity, like Islam, is an off-shoot of Judasim a kosher Christian is still a Christian even when he calls himself a "messianic Jew". The sheer willfullness of this relgious movement continues today to such a degree that comedian Jackie Mason has had to sue the organization for implying he not only condones the movement, but that he may well be a "Jew for Jesus" in a pamphlet they've been using to proseletyze in NYC this Summer. Par for the course, a spokeperson for the Christian group has issued a statement indicating that anyone who has a problem with them lying about their organization to gain converts is out of line
Susan Perlman, a spokeswoman for Jews for Jesus, said the pamphlet was "good-natured."

"Shame on him for getting so upset about this," she said Friday.
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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Tips for Tits - a happy hour with meaning

The first thing I realized after going to work directly for the great white satan (dba the pharmaceutical industry) was that pharma folks drink like fish. If you doubt this, just check out happy hour at the Boathouse in Malvern any Thursday or Friday and count how many folks admit to working at Sanofi-Aventis or Centocor (both of which are conveniently located within walking distance), or any one of the other local bio/pharma companies in the Philly metro area.

Come to think of it, why not check it out yourself this Thursday and help raise money for the Breast Cancer 3Day. A bunch of nuts known as The Phunny Pharmers will be guest bartending which is just another way to say entertainment will be provided.

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Monday, August 21, 2006

NY Baptist Church full of miscreants

The only thing the folks at Watertown, NY's First Baptist church have paid less attention to than the bible is the sin going on in their Sunday school for the past 54 years. In a desperate attempt to bring the flock back on the right side of G-d, the church dismissed Mary Lambert from her position teaching Sunday School because G-d doesn't believe women could possibly know more than a man on any subject
The First Baptist Church dismissed Mary Lambert on August 9 with a letter explaining that the church had adopted an interpretation that prohibits women from teaching men. She had taught there for 54 years.

The letter quoted the first epistle to Timothy: "I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent." [CNN]
No word on whether on how this literal interpretation of a letter to Timothy will impact the ability of females in the congregation carry out the responsibilities of parenting their male children.

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Saturday, August 12, 2006

This ought to tick people off

My uncle emailed this to me, I don't know where he got it from or who to credit but it seems even more apropos after the whole "fauxtography" controversy. War's bad enough, no reason to make it worse.

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Friday, August 11, 2006

Who knew Republicans had so much in common with the Quebecois?

About 10 years ago, the border patrol guard boyfriend (now husband) of a good friend of mine let me in on a well kept secret about illegal aliens in the US: there are a boatload of illegals from Canada. I don't think I've ever heard anyone complain about the plethora of primarily Anglo illegals sneaking in through our northern border despite the fact that, unlike those pesky "wetbacks", the Canadians don't come here to take jobs the average American won't take - they come here for white collar jobs that haven't been outsourced off shore.

Now it may well be that the reason folks like Republicans Jeff Sessions and James Sensenbrenner don't complain about the Canadians is because they go home to visit family whenever they're in need of healthcare, but to hear Ruben Navarette of The San Diego Union-Tribune tell its, it sounds more like the real goal is to protect our language and the complexions of our children.

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A drunk mind speaks a sober heart

Mel Gibson's Hebe-hatin' rant seems to be the celebrity gossip equivalent to herpes (aka: the gift that keeps giving). Today, the Australian Herald Sun's own Bryan Patterson chimed in with a cadre of quotes that may lead one to think that Gibson's post exposure apologies have been spoken with a sober mind, but forked tongue.
Interviewed by Reader's Digest a couple of years ago, the actor said he thought the Holocaust had happened, but that the numbers might have been exaggerated.

"I mean, when the war was over they said it was 12 million. Then it was six. Now it's four. I mean, it's that kind of numbers game."

He went on to say his father was very intelligent "and if he says something he has a reason why he says it and he can back it up."
As for those who think Gibson's tirade has no bearing on his blockbuster movie The Passion of the Christ Pogrom, claiming there was no reason to be concerned the film was intended to vilify those Saviour Spurning Christ-Killers, Patterson revives this sweet sentiment
In an interview when The Passion of The Christ was released, he was reported as saying: "My dad taught me my faith, and I believe what he taught me. The man never lied to me in his life." Gibson was asked about his decision to cut the scene in the Passion where the Jewish leader, Caiaphas, says "his blood be on us and on our children".

This was soon after Pontius Pilate washed his hands of Jesus.

Gibson said: "I wanted it in . . . but, man, if I included that in there, they'd be coming after me at my house. They'd come to kill me."
No, Meldoesn't hate Jews, he just doesn't really approve of them - especially when they have the audicity to disagree with (or arrest) him.

Meanwhile, back in Gawker-Land, it appears as though there may be some concern that a few too many Jews have graduated from Law School for the comfort of the Melibu DA office.

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Sunday, August 06, 2006

Tomorrow is Missing Monday: Please help those who help find the missing

Just to be sure I didn't forget to make my Missing Monday post (like I did last month), I figured I'd prep and post in advance. As I started to look for a case for this month, I found out that the National Center for Missing Adults (NCMA) is in danger of losing funding because the HR 2103 is languishing in subcommittee. HR 2103 authorizes the Attorney General to provide grants for organizations that help locate missing adults. If this bill is not signed into law the NCMA stands to lose $4 M in funding they receive on an annual basis - this is no small chunk of change for an organization that played a key role to help locate missing victims of Hurricane Katrina (almost a year later, the DOJ hasn't yet reimbursed them the $200,000 they promised for the owrk they did) as well as helping families of other missing adults.

Kelly Jowlkowski of Project Jason has posted her letter to the President requesting support and action on this bill. Please contact your respresentatives to request they do their part to ensure the government finally takes positive action on this bill.

For more information, please check out Kym's Blog

JAMES EDWARD AMABILE disappeared December 4, 2003. The circumstances of his disappearance are unknown but he was last seen leaving his Folsom, PA home headed towards Woodlyn to pick up his daughter. Neither he nor his hunter green 2002 Ford Explorer(PA Lic# FLA 4785) have been seen since.

Amabile is 5'11" and weighed about 200 pounds at the time of his disappearance. He has brown hair and eyes and some tattoos ["tiger's head" on upper back, "bird" on one shoulder and a "panther" on other]; his left ear is pierced and a hears a diabetic medic alert necklace.

If you have any information about Amabile's current whereabouts or his disappearance, please contact Ridley Township Police Department at (610) 532-4000 [Amabile's case # is: 03-17092]

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Saturday, August 05, 2006

What lead to Gibson's Melodramatic Anti-Jew Smackdown

Since the reports of Mel Gibson's bizarre anti-yid diatribe while being arrested, we've been getting the "Mel's no anti-semite he was just a drunk who didn't mean what he said" song and dance from Gibson and his supporters, but one thing we haven't heard is what lead the ornery actor to his verbal attack against an entire religion. It just seems strange for any non-delusional human being (even a proud self-avowed Jew hater) to launch into a rant against Jews as the cause for all that ails the world in the midst of a routine drunk driving arrest in Malibu. Understanding that successful, multi-millionaire celbrities do have a bit of a G-d complex, I just don't think Gibson qualifies for a diagnosis like paranoid schizophernia that could explain away Gibson's shift from his drunken "how dare you arrest me I am a celebridiety" hissy-fit into asking the arresting officer if he was a Jew and then launching into his now infamous Jews are evil tirade and merely being drunk off his ass doesn't explain it either (unless he now wants to claim his wagon tipping inebriation was caused by Jewish gang members attacking him and forcing copious amounts of alcohol down his throat). An interesting opinion piece by Ray Hanania, in addition to all the reports of Gibson's very close relationship with the Malibu PD, actually helps explain how Gibson's tirade evolve
At first, Gibson started screaming that his life would be ruined. Imagine, a Hollywood actor caught drunk. When Mee would not let him off, and handcuffed him, Gibson launched into a tirade about his clout, his friends, and his power.

For some strange reason, it wasn’t until all of that failed that, according to reports on his comments, that Gibson launched into the anti-Semitism. claims that Mee was forced to rewrite his detailed original 8-page detective novel that he turned in after bringing Gibson to the jail. Sources there said Mee was forced to eliminate all the Jew-hating comments.

My question is how did Gibson know Mee was Jewish? Or, if he didn’t say what he reportedly said because Mee was Jewish, how did he jump from “a ruined life” to “the Jews start all the wars in the world”? [Y Net]
The arresting officer's name is James Mee, mopst definitely not a "Jewish sounding" name at all. I've seen pictures of Mee and he doesn't "look Jewish" and there are no reports that the officer had payess or was wearing a yarmulke, talit or big bright yellow star emblazoned with the word Jude, so what would make Gibson even think to ask if the guy was Jewish and then blame the Jews for all thw wars in the world (you know, like the Crusades which was all about forcing Judaism down everyone's throat)?

Let's be honest, when I heard Gibson actually asked Mee if he was Jewish I damn near peed my pants; needless to say, I was shocked to hear Mee is Jewish.
My guess is that, from his close relationship with the local police department (this is the man who announced that all of his friends were cops and intimated such a cozy relationship with Malibu PD that officers frequently just drop by for a cuppa joe), Gibson probably knew there was at least one Jewish officer on the Malibu PD. I think it's safe to surmise that Mee was not one of Gibson's cop buddies and since Mee was, in Gibson's opinion, being a total A-hole by not being star-struck and then insisting on booking the actor for his DUI, the arresting officer must have been "the Jew". Stars like Gibson don't particularly like it when mere mortals don't respect the fact that the laws of the common man don't apply to the rich and famous. In this case, it was the suspected Jew who insisted on treating Gibson as if he were any other drunk on the road. When the offended offender just so happens to be a star who has publicly stated his religion/religious faith, the same one that lead him to make "The Passion of the Christ" (and lead many Jews to fear the resurgence of passion play induced pogroms) is the same religion that cured him of his spiritual bankruptcy, of which his alcoholism was a symptom, it really is no suprise that Gibson was angry enough to blame the Jews for all the world's problems simply because he thought the person who wouldn't help him hide his descent into sin was one of "those" people.

Gibson is an actor, one who is quite amiable and pleasant when in full control of the facade that is available to the public. When he loses his ability to control himself, he seems much more like his father than is safe for someone whose continued financial growth is dependent on his likability factor. Gibson won't suffer any long term effects from momentarily showing his true face; one has to wonder if the continuous need to maintain his public facade is the real reason he keeps falling of his high horse wagon.

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Friday, August 04, 2006

Suri Cruise - a modern day Raymond Shaw

Look, I've got to admit that I don't really give a fiddler's fart about the Tomkitten, but I must say the only thing I find odder than the issues surrounding Suri Cruise's birth (or, more accurately, her birth certificate) is the circus around the announcements about Suri sightings.

First, B-list thetan fighter Leah Remini made a public announcement about her own personal experiences with the infant, stating that Tom and Katie are "just great parents" because, it seems, the parents held her every second that Remini did not and that the child is "just beautiful". Shortly thereafter, Jada Pinkett Smith made sure we all knew that TomKat had allowed at least a couple of non-Scientologists to see his spawn and she also felt the need to proclaim the child's "absolute beauty". Now the last Catholic Tommy couldn't convert to his church has proclaimed Cruise and Holmes' daughter as "one of the most beautiful babies" she's ever seen. While, granted, there's not much interesting one can really say about an infant, but this has gotten to such scripted point that I'm starting to wonder how many more Hollywood stars are having recurrent dreams about attending weird little tea parties. . .


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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Synagogue to help Gibson understand why he doesn't like us

The Mel Gibson "I don't really hate Jews, but I do hold them responsible for everything that ails the world" brouhahaha has actually managed to become increasingly bizarre over the day. Mad Max now admits he made the nasty comments attributed to him after being pulled over for a DUI last week and is so wracked with psychic pain, he's asked for the Jewish community to help him recover from whatever it is that makes him not like the non-Gentile community so much
"I am in the process of understanding where those vicious words came from during that drunken display, and I am asking the Jewish community, whom I have personally offended, to help me on my journey through recovery," the statement continued.

"Again, I am reaching out to the Jewish community for its help. I know there will be many in that community who will want nothing to do with me, and that would be understandable. But I pray that that door is not forever closed."" [CNN]
According to (run by yet another one of those trouble-making Yids), Herr Gibson has been offered a chance to be a keynote speaker at High Holy Day services on Yom Kippur at the Temple of the Arts. Should Mel really want to gain a better understanding of himself and what's eating at him, maybe he should spend some time focusing on the life of his saviour and the religion to which Jesus subscribed instead of the pre-destined death necessary to spawn Christianity, and learn from (?acknowledge?) all the politics and bullshit mankind has used to attack, torture and murder others in the name of G-d and religion.

I fully expect to hear Gibson is spending the month leading up to the Jewish High Holy Days reciting Selichot before awing us with what I'm sure will be a very public (and fear will be a disengenuous) act of contrition.

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Monday, July 31, 2006

Finally, possible good news for the morning after

After rightfully being attacked for use of political delay tactics and ignoring science (and common sense), the FDA has told Barr they're interested in hearing more about the "behind the counter" back-up plan they suggested after receiving some pushback on the OTC application for Plan B. The announcement of the FDA's sudden decision to consider the option has been called a delay tactic as Andrew von Eschenbach's nomination to permanently lead the agency heads to the Senate. The caveats issued by the agency seem to lend credence to the accusation
the FDA held out the possibility it could keep Plan B prescription-only if Barr’s plan to restrict over-the-counter sales to adult women wasn’t “sufficiently rigorous,” von Eschenbach wrote the company. [MSNBC]
I wonder if von Eschenbach will back up any decision not to support the behind the counter program by imposing the same limitations on cigarettes sold in behind the counter programs.

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Monday, July 24, 2006

And I thought mine were made of brass

You thought the Catholic League was bunched up about the Da Vinci code - wait to hear the uproar if the latest aquisition by Touchstone Books sells well.

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Sunday, July 23, 2006

let the inbreeding begin

John Stossel enters a new level of asshattery

It's the sort of myth that leads to stupid laws. Half the states in America have banned cousin marriage, but there's no good reason for it. You can marry your cousin and have perfectly intelligent kids.

Take Albert Einstein — was he intelligent enough for you? His parents were cousins, and he married his cousin. So did Charles Darwin and Queen Victoria. Worldwide, 20% of all married couples are cousins.
I guess Stossel missed those days in his History and Science classes that covered what happens when cousins do a little more than kiss.

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So then, what's the statute of limitations on kidnapping?

In the midst of all the fiery blastocysts are people too rhetoric, namely Sam Brownback's Interview with an Embryo (one has to wonder what sort of miscreant would tell their young child that had they not been adopted as an embryo they would have be "murdered" like the embryos being discussed during the current stem cell debates), Orange County Superior Court Judge Stephen J. Sundvold dismissed 8 cases of ova/embryo theft against UC Irvine's fertility clinic. The judge dismissed the cases because he felt the plaintiff's waited too long to file suit after the "widespread and pervasive publicity" of the clinic scandal surrounding use in the 1990's. Attorney's for the plaintiffs argue the publicity was primarily limited to Orange County, where their clients did not live - in truth, this was a pretty big scandal that received national attention (I heard about it here in Philly).

I agree that these women did seem to take an inordinately long amount of time to find out if their stored ova/embryos had been among the ones used without consent, I do think the clinic owes them something for the sheer emotional turmoil of knowing they have children out there that they did not consent to have or put up for adoption. To be honest with you, the more I learn about what's now being called "snowflake adoption", the less comfortable I am with it. Until a friend of mine went through the psychiatric eval to be allowed to donate her remaining embryos, I had thought that after the embryos were donated they went to families in a different geographic region to decrease the possibility of any resultant children born from the donation from living too close to the biological parents and their offspring. This, in turn, would significantly decrease the chances of incestuous relationships (which are never good for the population at large), etc. Much to my horror, I found out that donated ova/embryos stay in the clinic practice which means there's a possibility that your son's high school sweetheart could be his own [biological] sister.

As Art Caplan asks in this morning's Inky, if Bush and the fundagelical sheeple are really concerned with the fate of embryos created in vitro, why don't they shut down fertility clinics that destroy embryos (this, BTW, would be all of them because this sort of assisted reproduction always involves destruction of some products of conception)? The truth is, they'd loose support from not only the general public, but from many "pro-lifers" who benefit greatly from these clinics - including those who brought their healthy "snowflake" graduates (the ones they obtained because they wanted to go through a pregnancy instead of adopting a living, breathing child that was already born and in dire need of parents) to be used as visual aids for political purposes.

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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Unconscionable Interference

In response to this:
Around the United States, health workers and patients are clashing when providers balk at giving care that they feel violates their beliefs, sparking an intense, complex and often bitter debate over religious freedom vs. patients' rights.

Legal and political battles have followed. Patients are suing and filing complaints after being spurned. Workers are charging religious discrimination after being disciplined or fired. Congress and more than a dozen states are considering laws to compel workers to provide care -- or, conversely, to shield them from punishment.

Proponents of a "right of conscience" for health workers argue that there is nothing more American than protecting citizens from being forced to violate their moral and religious values. Patient advocates and others point to a deep tradition in medicine of healers having an ethical and professional responsibility to put patients first.

The issue is driven by the rise in religious expression and its political prominence in the United States, and by medicine's push into controversial new areas. And it is likely to intensify as doctors start using embryonic stem cells to treat disease, as more states legalize physician-assisted suicide and as other wrenching issues emerge.

"What constitutes an ethical right of conscience in medicine, and what are the limits?" asked Nancy Berlinger of the Hastings Center, a bioethics think tank. "This keeps getting harder and harder for us." [WaPo]
I feel compelled to re-run part of a post of mine from October 2005:

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.
Additional examples of how the public has been affected by the religious zealotry impacting health care decisions can be found at

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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The next thing the fundagelicals will want to ban

As if it wasn't bad enough that circumcision is something the worst of the heathen non-Christians practice on a routine basis, it also seems to significantly lower the transmission/infection rate of HIV.

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You have a right to die

The shrub is so "pro-life" he thinks some people are obligated to die slow, painful, debilitating and degrading deaths to save some cells that wouldn't differentiate into tissues, let alone be born at all.

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Monday, July 10, 2006

The USA is a Christian country

Not too long ago, I received an email from a woman working with producers of a show on Air America called State of Belief, hosted by C. Welton Gaddy whose grasp of the Christian religion I fully expect to be questioned by all the usual suspects. When I heard the update about the Dobrich family, formerly of Sussex County Delaware I emailed some links to Betty as a suggestion for a story to be covered on the program. In less than 24 hours, I had a reply telling me that they were not only aware of the situation, they'd already planned to cover it on the July 9 show. The show did a good job covering not only the disgusting actions of STOP the ACLU and the reprehensible (and exceptionally unpatriotic and unChristian) response by the residents of Sussex County and the Indian River School Board, they also covered a number of other issues including the story of the picture to the left. You can listen to the broadcast here.

So what do you think the right answer is the Gaddy's question: once all the non-Christians have been removed from this country, what form of Christianity will be the one under which the United States is ruled?

My guess is that Daddy Dobson, uber-shicksa Ann Coulter (who's level of Christian committment seems limited to wearing a cross and lambasting others for not being Christian) and their followers won't continue to accept everyone baptised in a Christian church as a Christian. I wonder, will Catholics like Bill O'Lielly find themselves demonized followers of a false religion once they're no long of political use or will the Catholic majority have to resort to bringing back the Inquistion to fight the fundagelical threat? How long will it take the next marginalized group to wax poetic for the freedoms they never thought they risked losing?

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Sunday, July 09, 2006

Isn't it ironic?

The most anti-science leader since the dark ages has urged the Senate back more government funding of basic science research. As someone who left the bench partially due to the substanstive decrease in funding (watching people do multiple post-docs lead to a horrific fear of living with mommy & daddy the rest of my life), I rejoice in the thought that those in the lab may actually be able to obtain grant funding to pursue and continue worthy research. I also have to say I find this call, coming from a man who has fought acknowledgement of reproducible scientific results, disabled/disbanded/dismantled or otherwise disregards legitimate scientific advisory boards to be disengenuous at best. Maybe I'm skeptical because Bush's call came from a microelectronics company lab (not that anyone in the Bush family has ties to tech companies or semiconducter work). . .nah, I think my cynicism comes from the fact the Shrub's proposal is publicized as an
initiative to boost U.S. competitiveness in the global marketplace through innovation. He also wants to train thousands of new science and math teachers and extend a popular tax credit businesses can receive for investing in research and development. The total price tag over 10 years would be $136 billion. [CNN]
and the Preznit has spent much of his time in government office
helping to further the control that religious organizations have over what research can be conducted and what science should be taught in our schools which is part of what could turn this country into the next backwater nation.

The Senate will be taking up some real science/scientific funding issues this month in the form of stem cell research.

c/o RCRC (via Weekly Action Coalition)
Embryonic Stem Cell Research Holds Unprecedented Hope

Millions of people suffer from diseases and injuries that could be treated if we have adequate research to develop new therapies. Human embryonic stem cell research has enormous potential for finding life-saving treatments for Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, brain injury, stroke, heart disease, burns, and spinal cord injuries.

Embryonic stem cells are derived from excess embryos, which were created for infertility treatments and will be discarded once treatment is discontinued. Stem cells have the ability to divide indefinitely in culture and can develop into most of the specialized cells and tissues of the body such as muscle cells, nerve cells, liver cells and blood cells. Using stem cells could reduce the dependency on organ donation and transplantation.

Somehow I doubt the Preznit will be supportive of this initiative or any educational programs that would lead to anyone else supporting it, let alone training programs that would lead to any future scientist making any headway.

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Friday, July 07, 2006

Friday Dog Blogging: could they be hung over?

I have no idea what they were doing last night and am not sure I want to know. . .


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Thursday, July 06, 2006

But he's neither

Dubya made a funny:
"When history looks back, I'd rather be judged as solving problems and being correct, rather than being popular," Bush said. [Larry King Live]
Unfortunately for him and us (mostly for us), unless he can ensure historians can change history in his favor, the shrub will be judged as causing problems and being far from correct. My guess is that if there is a future so history can look back, there will be an awful lot of head scratching going on.

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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

but they need 144,000 of us to fulfill their sick little prophecy

There aren't weren't enough Jews in Indian River School District (Delaware) to start an actual pogrom, so I guess the christotheocrats had to make do with chasing the christ-killers out of town when they couldn't indoctrinate or forcibly convert them. Maybe these good, uber-Patriotic Americans can get their non-local supporters to take a page from Ferdie and Bella to further protect this great country and all it's freedoms from those who pose such a great threat to their very souls.
Among numerous specific examples in the complaint was what happened at plaintiff Samantha Dobrich's graduation in 2004 from the district's high school. She was the only Jewish student in her graduating class. The complaint relates that local pastor, Jerry Fike, in his invocation, followed requests for "our heavenly Father's" guidance for the graduates with:

I also pray for one specific student, that You be with her and guide her in the path that You have for her. And we ask all these things in Jesus' name.
[Jews on First]
I'm not really sure who the residents of Sussex County, DE need to thank for that "brave" stand the school district took against those pushy Jews and ACLU types. Jesus, unfortunately, may be in their hearts but he high-tailed it out of town along with those other dirty Jews.

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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The proper use of the cross and Christian religious symbolism

As we all know, the fundie nationalists are all about using the cross to make sure we all know that the United States of America is Christian Country. Part of this makes sure use of religion and religious symbols is imposed wherever heathens abound, but used only by those the fundagelicals accept as their kinda Christian.

A prime example of where the cross is not only acceptable, but mandatory to protect the endangered Christian religion:

Mount Soledad - Originally dedicated as a Korean War Memorial designed in the form of a 29-foot latin cross, the black granite plaques at Mount Soledad now honor servicemen (living and dead) from all US conflicts and wars. The memorial is maintained by a provate association, but the land belongs to the city (last year's election approving the transfer the land beneath the cross to the federal government was deemed unconsititutional). Any true Christian knows that removal of the rather large cross to disallowing/removing every cross at every state and fedeal cemetary, even those on individual tombstones
If the ACLU wins, it will mean that every cross in every federal or state cemetery will eventually be removed. Don’t let it happen! Under Section Three, Article Two of the U.S. Constitution Congress can pass a law prohibiting federal judges from having any jurisdiction over federal cemeteries.

If the ACLU is allowed to pursue this anti-Christian bigotry unchecked, the 9000 white crosses at Normandy Beach could soon disappear. The words on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington will be open for removal: “Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God.” [Don Wildmon, AFA]
In stark contrast, there are unacceptable uses of [Christian] religious imagery that do not promote Christianity and, therefore,
the fine folks at the Catholic League, AFA & FOF have indicated should be banned. Case in point, Britney's former BFF including a mock crucifixion of herself in her latest stage production - for the record, the Catholic League wasn't the only group of people booing Madonna (though the concert goers booed for more obvious reasons).

For those of us [heathens] confused by how to properly use the cross, I've listed examples that have elicited reactions from the orthodox/fundmentalist Christian movements:


(bonus points for nifty sales tie-in because nothing says I live by Jesus' creed than wearing a nail around your neck)

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The reason the colonists fought for independence

It appears as though the colonists fought for independence for the same reason the troops are fighting in Iraq: to keep King George in power. Just in time for Independence Day (the holiday, not the movie) Raw Story via the National Journal reports that Dubya admits he had directed Darth Cheney to use classified info to not only defend his administration but to also go out of his way to discredit Joseph Wilson while doing so.
But Bush told investigators that he was unaware that Cheney had directed I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the vice president's chief of staff, to covertly leak the classified information to the media instead of releasing it to the public after undergoing the formal governmental declassification processes. [National Journal]
Why, then, wouldn't Cheney have gone through the official declassification process to "get the word out"? Why would the Shrub make a huge stink about how awful the leak was and state the perpetrator(s) would be punished to the fullest extent of the law instead of admitting he'd given the order to declassify the info? Last but not least, why would Libby lie to the grand jury about the circumstances? The answers to those questions are pretty obvious. Information can be declassified, under Bush Executive Order 13292, based on the President's (of Vice President's) assertion that declassification and disclosure of the information was necessary because the [administration's belief that] public's need to know the information far outweighed the need to keep the information secret. The decision on a matter such as this is made that the discretion of the POTUS/VPOTUS. Ultimatley, the administrtaion obviously decided that the information about Plame needed to publicized in the name of public interest but the information as to how and why that information was relayed publicly needed to remain classified. It's good to be King. . .

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Friday, June 30, 2006

pretending to sleep through the storms

I'm sure after hiding out during yet another round of storms last night, the dysfunctional duo was very glad to wake up to a sunny day (and less flooded back yard) today.


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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Charity is only OK if it advances orthodox Christian principles

Talk about moral relativism! Charitable donations aren't always a good thing as a matter of fact, some are the work of the devil according to the Christian orthodoxy.

Well what did I expect after the fundies started railing that voting is downright unAmerican/unPatriotic if you don't vote for a Repubevangelical.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

not so Starry, Starry day

Star Jones may have managed to keep the method of her drastic weight loss secret, but her not so secret plans to leave The Yentas View were confirmed during this morning's episode of the televised coffee klatsch. On her departure, Jones didn't say what her career plans are but commented
“I’m not sure what the future holds,” she said. “But I’m absolutely sure who holds the future.”
Anyone want to guess that Jones, a Court TV alum, will try to hit up another Court TV alum for a position at MSNBC*?

* say no Dan, just say no!


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Oops, he did it again

My old buddy Rush may have just screwed up a deal on prescription drug fraud in a desparate attempt to get laid. It appears as though "Mr. send the drug users up the river" was detained at Pam Beach International airport the other day with some contraband Viagra. According to Limbaugh's attorney:
Limbaugh’s doctor had prescribed the Viagra, but it was “labeled as being issued to the physician rather than Mr. Limbaugh for privacy purposes"
I don't know why he'd be ashamed of having the prescription - heck, Bob Dole did ads for the stuff. Maybe he was just trying to hide his non-marital sexcapades from the Christian Conservative ditto-heads.

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Monday, June 26, 2006

Mo money, mo money, mo money

Courtesy of Raw Story comes the news that what the queers lack in sheer number they more than make up in purchase power as gay buying power is expected to top a trillion by 2012.
"The purchasing power of the GLBT community is estimated today to be a massive $641 billion, with projections reaching $1 trillion by 2012. Add in the buying power of the millions of family members and friends who show fierce allegiance to fair- minded corporations, and you get a message that no company can afford to ignore: equality is good for business," said Jody M. Huckaby, executive director of the more than 200,000-member organization.

"This economic clout and product loyalty is only going to grow. We are here to give the business world this wake-up call and to help companies compete."
So tell me, what's a "Christian" capitalist to do? I'm sure it's only a matter of time before Daddy Dobson tells us. . .

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Monday, June 19, 2006

How about a living wage?

The minimum wage in the US has been set at $5.15/hr since 1997. In that time, Congress has voted to give themselves a raise 9 times which have totaled more than 3 times a 40-hour/week FT salary of the minimum wage earner. In contrast, the $10,700 a minimum wage worker earns for a full year of 40-hour work weeks is $5,000 less than the official poverty line for a family of 3.

To put this into perspective, Senator Rick Santorum not only had to suck it up and let his wife do some work not related to keeping his house and raising his children to add another much needed $4,000/month to his then measly $162K/year salary but he also admits to occasionally accepting a bit of financial help from his retired parents to help keep the family from debtors prison (maybe he should pretend to be a resident of FL instead PA in order to keep the homestead if he has to file for bankruptcy).

It's well past time for a raise in the minimum wage. Senator Kennedy has recently introduced an ammendment to raise the minimum wage to $7.25/hr (that's still barely over $15K/year) and a vote on the matter could happen as soon as this Wednesday.
c/o AFL-CIO E-Activist

We’re coming down to the wire. The Senate is expected to vote on a minimum wage increase this week, but opponents may try to block it with phony proposals that actually hurt workers. Meanwhile, the Republican House leadership has refused to schedule a vote even though an increase to $7.25 an hour won a solid majority vote in committee. We have fought long and hard to give America’s low-wage workers a raise. What happens depends on your action now.
Please contact your U.S. senators and representative to vote to increase the minimum wage and reject any amendments to the legislation that would hurt workers.

For more information, please check out the following:

Raising the Minimum Wage is a Matter of Fairness

Minimum Wage Showdown this Week

Let Justice Roll

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Saturday, June 17, 2006

Another day, another email from the AFA complaining about intolerant people firing folks for no good reason

When 18-year old Crystal Plotner, who the rink owners say was one of their top 10 employees, casually mentioned she was planning to move in with her boyfriend to her bosses, they implored her to check out their church and re-consider her sinful plans. When she refused to do either, they fired her sinful little ass for violation of their moral turpitude clause. Needless to say, I wasn't surprised when I saw the email I received from the AFA's Don Wildmon, wildly complaining about intolerant employers firing good people for no good reason. I saw the subject line of the e-mail and thought it's about time such a fine, Christian organization took up the cause of a great employee like Crystal who wasn't going around preaching against [traditional] marriage at the rink, telling rink patrons about how she was living in sin, or doing anything in a public forum that could make her employers look kinda shady. Then I opened it and found out my friend Don is only concerned about firing people who go out of their way to impugn others (provided the person who was fired is a "Christian" and the people being impugned don't even meet Anne Coulter's liberal definition of Christian.

A public official in Maryland has been fired by the Republican governor because he merely expressed his personal beliefs and the teaching of his church that homosexuality is immoral. Robert Smith was fired from his position on the Metro board by Gov. Robert Ehrlich, Jr. after a homosexual complained. Gov. Ehrlich said he is intolerant to any view that opposes the full social acceptance of homosexual behavior and its promotion in government. He said Smith's comments were "highly inappropriate, insensitive and unacceptable. They are in direct conflict to my administration's commitment to...tolerance." Gov. Ehrlich contradicted his own statement! He is promoting tolerance toward homosexual practice while being intolerant to Smith's Christian beliefs and the teaching of his church.
Smith, it seems, went on a local cable talk show to espouse his views that homosexuals live a life of sexual deviancy. He not only offended other Metro Board members by these public statements, he also ticked off openly gay board member DC councilman Jim Graham, who called for his resignation. According to Wildmon's email

Addressing his views on homosexual marriage, Smith said: "Homosexual behavior, in my view, is deviant. I'm a Roman Catholic. The comments I make in public outside of my [Metro board job] I'm entitled to make." His personal beliefs, he said, have "absolutely nothing to do with running trains and buses and have not affected my actions or decisions on this board."

Smith responded to a speaker who said homosexuals do not want the government interfering in their sex life. "That's fine, that's fine," Smith said. "But that doesn't mean that government should proffer a special place of entitlement within the laws of the United States for persons of sexual deviancy."

Smith said he has always supported the transit agency's policy against all forms of discrimination. Asked if he planned to apologize to Metro board member Jim Graham, an open homosexual who called for Smith's firing, Smith replied: "I didn't make the comments to Mr. Graham...I'm sorry he feels that way. I don't agree that his lifestyle is an appropriate way to lead one's life."

Smith was fired not because he wasn't doing a good job. He was fired not because of his practice, but because of his thinking! He was fired because he held different beliefs. So much for tolerance! If this firing stands, it means that any Christian who states publicly that homosexual practice is morally wrong does so at the risk of being fired.
The only thing is, based on Smith's own account of the cable show, it sounds as though he was on the show as Metro Board Member Robert Smith discussing local government issues, not as a private citizen (if anyone has footage, I'd like to see how he was billed). I guess the point is, Wildmon is OK with firing someone for doing something he thinks is wrong but broadcasting public accusations based on Christian beliefs doesn't count. I wonder if the AFA will take up the cause for the next BYU professor fired for taking a stance of equality in marriage, after all that person is only thinking and expressing their personal views.

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Friday, June 16, 2006

Annie Get Your Gun

In an email interview Anne "I can't define what Christianity is, but I know it when I see it" Coulter has gone on to show yet another example of her religiously correct moral superiority by implying that anyone who has served their time in the US military during wartime but don't support the war in Iraq should be killed.
"After harmlessly dismissing former Ambassador Joseph Wilson as the "World's most intensely private exhibitionist," she said of Rep. John Murtha, the hawkish ex-Marine and now antiwar congressman: "The reason soldiers invented 'fragging.'" [Editor & Publisher]
I wonder if her next step will be to say amnesty should be granted to insurgents who have attacked/killed US troops in Iraq because those injured and killed were flaming liberals who deserved to be attacked for not supporting our troops in Iraq. After all, those who serve in and survive the Iraq war may be the next group of un-Patriotic ingrates that speak out against the Repubevangelical Empire.

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

The liberals don't support the troops?

It seems as though the yellow-bellied, un-American, terrorist-lovin' liberals - you know, the ones who the Patriotic folks at Faux News constantly deride as not supporting the troops by claiming we should not be at war in Iraq, aren't alone in the terrorist-supporting activities. The Republicans have proven yet again that the only time an American life matters to them is when they can wave their nice flag while beating their chests about how they value life. Raw Story reports
Five Republican Senators today took to the chamber floor invoking Nelson Mandela, the Confederacy, and even the Japenese to defend an Iraqi government plan to grant amnesty for insurgents who have attacked United States troops, or civilians
Yup, it was those of us who voted against the shrub and demanded Rummy, et al provide our military with appropriate supplies who show contempt for the troops.

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No Mo Po

Danny-boy's first major act as GM at MSNBC was to axe the Povich's. So far it looks like moving behind the scenes was a really good move for Abrams.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

PA House TO'd that Senate's version of bigotry bill let's some sinners have rights

There's a fire brewing between Pennsylvania law-makers as the PA Senate passed a version of the state's No Mo Marriage constitutional amendment that *gasp* allows municipalities to recognize and grant rights to people living in sin by registering as domestic partners. The lone dissenter in the senate, Jane Orie (R-Allegheny), decried the senate version for "defeating the purpose" of the amendment by not making it clear that traditional marriage is the only acceptable for people in a relationship to have any legal rights or responsibilities for adults in a romantic relationship, and that municipalities that recognize domestic partnerships undermine the safety of children and threaten to destroy the institution of marriage. After all, if two adults can register as domestic partnership the state no longer has the privelege of preventing people living in sin from obtaining benefits from companies that offer benefits to domestic partners.

Advocates for the original amendment language accused the Senate committee of trying to derail the bill.

"Members who voted for the bill as amended must have had the intent to kill the marriage protection amendment," said Michael Geer, president of the Pennsylvania Family Institute, which defines its mission as strengthening families by restoring traditional values to public life. [Inky]
The only way to prevent further erosion of the sanctity of marriage is to ensure no relationship or living arrangement that is similar to the traditional marriage (two adults living together and, possibly, even having/raising children) are reminded of how they are destroying society by not engaging in acceptable traditional marriage. Based on this thinking, even the House's version of the amendment doesn't quite go far enough to really protect marriage. After all, if people can enjoy a relationship that includes any of the benefits of a tradiional marriage, the institution of marriage is undermined. To be true to their goal of protecting marriage, PA lawmakers need to bring back anti cohabitation and fornication laws, complete with legal penalties against lawbreakers, as well as make other ways to prevent couples to "live in sin" or reap other benefits (sex, having children, etc.) that should be limited to heterosexual couples joined in an acceptable religious ceremony.

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Crawford outs FDA irregularity

Former FDA head Lester Crawford has testified that the agency's intended response to Barr's prescription-to-OTC switch application for Plan B (emergency contraception) was not to deny the switch to allow sales of the drug without a prescription to females 17 and older.
Former FDA commissioner Lester Crawford, in a sworn statement, said he had reserved the right to decide whether to loosen the sales restrictions on the prescription-only emergency contraceptive pills. His account of that unusual and perhaps unprecedented move, given in a deposition over a lawsuit against the FDA, confirmed earlier testimony given by two senior agency officials who said he'd shut them out of the decision-making process.

But Crawford said his Aug. 26, 2005, announcement that the agency was delaying its decision on Plan B wasn't a move toward denying over-the-counter sales. Instead, it was a bid for time to work out how to enforce restricting nonprescription sales to women 17 and older. Girls 16 and younger would still need a prescription. [Guardian]
Barr had suggested a "behind the counter" plan for the drug - a plan similar to that applied to cigarettes which, based on Crawford's assertion that the FDA was just trying to work out an acceptable plan, should have been acceptable to the agency. Instead they delayed any decision to work out something different since a girl under the age of 17 could possibly get access to the drug without a prescription if they accepted the behind the counter suggestion by Barr. Interestingly, it's always "possible" for someone who doesn't have a prescription for a medication to get access to and use it (even children), so this argument holds less water than a colander.

Mark McClellan is next in the queue for a deposition on the issue. In the meantime, science and common sense continue to take a back seat to religious hystrionics.

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Monday, June 12, 2006

Religious-induced ignorance still trumps science when it comes to women

Last night on 60 Minutes, they re-ran their story on how Repubevangelical FDA advisory appointee David "sodomy is best when perfomed without consent" Hager helped prevent a decision to approve OTC availability of Barr's Plan B emergency contraceptive. Women, including rape victims, are still being denied access to Plan B with a valid prescription for no other reason than the fact the religious right continues to mislabel the drug, which prevents the ovulation necessary for conception to occur, as an abortifacient. There are three evide points that really need serious consideration when the self-appointed arbiters of morality unneccesarily make the inacurate claim that Plan B induces abortions:
  • If ovulation does not occur, an egg can not be fertilized and pregnancy (even if you define it as conception instead of implantation) does not occur.
  • There is no evidence or logical reason to believe, let alone assert, that the drug causes expulsion of an implanted embryo when pregnancy has been established.
  • The claim that Plan B, in the case that ovulation and conception occur, prevents implantation into the endometrial lining has come about because chronic use of hormonal contraception can lead to thining of the endometrial lining which helps decrease the heaviness and/or duration of menses.
    • Please note the operative words are "chronic use" and "can."
      • All women using hormonal contraception on a regular basis do not have thiniing of the endometrial lining; quite a few do not and those who have gotten pregnant while using hormonal contraception do not necessarily suffer spontaneous abortion related to contraceptive use.
      • Plan B is not a chronic use drug - it's a drug that will be used on relatively rare occasion.
We are past due the time when our Representatives finally take positive action to ensure that women have access to emergency contraception, especially those already traumatized by rape.

C/O NARAL Pro-Choice America

Improve health-care services for rape survivors

We need your help to make sure women who’ve been raped get the chance to prevent pregnancy. please contact your US Representative to make this a Federal requirement for hospitals receiving US funds.

Send a message to your members of Congress today to help pass the Compassionate Assistance for Rape Emergencies Act (“CARE”: S.1264/H.R.2928).

This bill would ensure that survivors of sexual assault are offered the “morning-after” pill in the emergency room. The morning-after pill, also known as emergency contraception or EC, prevents pregnancy after sex or sexual assault. Improved access to the morning-after pill could prevent 88 percent – approximately 22,000 – of pregnancies that occur as a result of rape.
For more information, please check out FP's post at Weekly Action Coalition.

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Saturday, June 10, 2006

Premature Ejaculation

It looks like the preznit shot his fundamentalist wad a little too early this year as the so urgent he hasn't spoken about it since the last election Marriage Protection Amendment appears to have stalled in the Senate. The pro-bigotry brigade in the Senate only managed to garner 49 of the 60 votes needed to pass a procedural motion to even have a vote on the measure.

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

welcome to pennsyltucky

So much for addressing important issues like property tax reform or disclosure about lobbying, Pennsyltucky lawmakers have decided that ensuring those damn 'mos don't undermine the sanctity and wholesomeness of "traditional" (that'd be heterosexual) marriages is the top priority. The state House voted 136-61 to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman the other day - the state Senate is expected to take up the measure at the end of the month. The amendment that was approved by the House reads:
Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this Commonwealth, and neither the Commonwealth nor any of its political subdivisions shall create or recognize a legal status identical or substantially equivalent to that of marriage for unmarried individuals.
Those voting for the measure should be ashamed of themselves, not only for their overt support of bigotry but also for ignoring the fact that a marriage license is nothing more than a legal document that provides the couple with legal rights and binds them to legal responsibilities towards one another. There is no requirement that any religious official, church or even society at large accept or condone any relationship for it to be valid.

If the requirement for a marriage license were in any way linked to the government's/society's endorsement of a marriage (or any relationship, for that matter) we, as a society, should be allowed to vote on the acceptability of each couple's petition to marry as well as any request to end a marriage. Otherwise, we should stay out of any private relationship between consulting adults that does not directly impact us or can not be shown (supported with unbiased documentation) to pose a substantial threat to those involved and/or society at large. Homosexuality and gay marriage are not the reason we have such a high divorce rate, straight people are. If anybody has been shown to undermine the sanctity of marriage as an institution and the "traditional American family", it's those who've been directly involved in the destruction of their own families.

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Monday, June 05, 2006

Well, I can't really define irony...

Doing his best Winona Ryder impression, WH press secretary Tony Snow indicated that King George considers the Marriage Protection Amendment a civil rights issue but then couldn't explain what civil rights are. In a follow-up to today's WH briefing, it was confirmed that "civil rights" are defined as: the rights afforded to Repubevangelicals by the Christotheocracy and those very rights are violated whenever gay people are afforded the same rights to execute a mutually exclusive legal contract with one another as heterosexual people.

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Missing Monday

8-year old Robert Sample, Jr has been missing since yesterday afternoon when he left Frankford home with $20 to go to a local store at Penn and Sellers Streets. Sample, who left his home on the 1300 block of Adams Ave. around 2pm, has gone off on his own before, but never for more than a few hours. He knows how to ride SEPTA and may have taken the bus to locate a friend named Jamir who recently moved from the neighborhood.

Robert is 4 feet tall and weighs about 65
pound s and was wearing a red shirt, blue jeans and black sneakers when he was last seen, If you have see (or have seen) the boy please contact the Philadelphia police.

UPDATE: Robert has been located with relatives in West Philly. (h/t to the lovely and talented Albert)

16-year old Ashley Nicole Brown was last seen in Apollo, Pennsylvania on May 17, 2006. Ashley, who answers to the nickname Sissy, is 5'2" and weighs about 98 pounds. She has blonde hair, blue eyes, a pierced nose and multiple ear piercings. She is considered an endangered runaway and may still be in Western PA. If you have any information on her disappearance or current whereabouts, please contact the Washington Township Police Department at 724-727-3410, or the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children 1-800-843-5678 (1-800-THE-LOST)

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