Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Is That Better?

From now on, the Catholic Church says it will be carefully screening prospective priests for "homosexual tendencies". This, they say, will help to prevent further sexual molestation of young boys by the clergy. Has anyone checked out the relationship between Popo Ratzo and his personal secretary? It's kind of like closing the barn door after the horses have already bolted.

I don't understand what good screening seminarians for "homosexual tendencies" will do. In the end they will just substitute young girls for young boys who are being molested. Is that better?

Maybe they should let priests and nuns have sex like normal people, gay or straight. The emphasis here is on normal. Celibacy doesn't work. Seven billion people can't be wrong.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Does it Work Both Ways?

I'm seeing quite a bit of coverage about the importance of protecting the actions of conscience among health care workers. The thesis is that they should not be required to participate in abortions, prescribe, dispense or administer any contraceptives or otherwise act in a manner which is contrary to their beliefs.

I don't have a problem with this as long as the same is true for those that believe in birth control and abortion, that they may perform, prescribe, dispense and administer to those requesting reproductive control services in any facility serving the general public in which they work, or have privileges.

Who's Really Ignorant?

A lot of Catholic websites are making fun of Hillary Clinton, because she asked in Mexico City, who painted the famous image of the Virgin of Guadalupe on a cloak, not realizing that the spirit of Mary herself supposedly caused it to appear in miraculous commemoration of her visitation in Mexico, giving solace to the indigenous peoples, recently converted to Christianity by the none too righteous or selective sword of Hernando Cortez.

It wasn't until several months ago that I knew about these claims of Mary's divine artistry. It's a lovely legend but not very believable. It seems awfully Shroud of Turin-ish. I'm not sure Hillary is the foolish one here.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Pope Fires Flack. Starts Fresh. Can't Hurt.

The Pope has been having trouble with the press lately. He is firing his flack. I didn't even know he had a press agent but to think otherwise would be naive.

Probably not a bad idea to get a fresh start. I don't think it will do him any good, couldn't hurt though.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

If It Doesn't Help, Don't Go There

Here's an editorial by an African, talking about the AIDS crisis in Africa. Condoms may not be the final solution to AIDS in Africa. For the individual African, who chooses to consistently use condoms, when engaging in consensual sex, with partners not concurrently experiencing acute traumatic blood loss or otherwise exuding large amounts of virally active bodily fluids, it may greatly decrease their chances of sero conversion, leading to a life free from wasting, rogue cancerous lesions, opportunistic brain parasites, chronic pneumonia and lethargy, followed by abrupt death.

The Pope is not just another old, closeted gay Catholic priest, traveling around the World with his significant other in his sunset years, seeing the sights and sending postcards to the other old queens at home. He is also one of the major recognized moral authorities in the World. Millions of people take every utterance he makes to heart. In light of this, many of his statements and actions seem careless and ill considered.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Go Ahead, Knock Yourself Out, Norm

Norm Coleman will lose the contested election for the Senate seat from the State of Minnesota. His current plan is to continue to contest the election as long as possible and tie the inevitable outcome up in the courts. In this way, he denies the Democrats one more Senator in their bicameral Congressional majority. If it made some kind of functional difference it might be a smart move by Coleman. As it is, it doesn't and it's not.

In the end, Al Franken will get the seat. Minnesota will have been without half of its Senate representation for who knows how long. When they ask why, the answer will be the intransigence of the Republican party and Norm Coleman. It's not good public relations. It isn't going to help the Republicans win any future elections. It doesn't change the outcome of any Senate votes.

Franken is quietly and politely waiting for the issue to be decided. It's not hurting him. He doesn't need any more publicity. His name recognition is among the highest in the nation.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What Money?

Were you following the markets today? What do you think. I think the trading relationships between the major asset classes are coming unglued. This could be a very treacherous and unpredictable time to be trading the markets. Unless you are a true believer in whatever it is you are holding, my advice is to get out now, no matter what your losses are at this point. Day traders and buy and hold investors will be equally at risk in the coming days and weeks.

The dollar may have reversed its upward movement against other World currencies. Nobody really knows. The American Government, absent other demand, has begun to buy its own debt. Hello Zimbabwe! Equities are in the middle of a rally that has seen them appreciate nearly 20% in little more than a week, with no fundamental reasons apparent. Gold, after a two week slump, went on a 6% seesaw today and ended up 3%. Commodities are up, even in the face of diminishing demand. Real estate values continue to plummet. 10% of American homes are in foreclosure. Retail spending continues to dry up as credit card defaults rise dramatically. Half of those supposedly in the know, think that economies around the World will be reviving from here on out but many are beginning to believe that a depression of greater proportions than that of the 1920's and 1930's, worldwide, has already begun.

My opinion is that most investment classes will be unstable and trading will be very volatile, at least for the short term. I think that for the most part, the volatility will be heavily weighted to the down side. I think that those assets that end up higher will be far fewer in number than those that go down and that the downers will be down by a much greater margin than the uppers are up.

It's a fools game. Sell out now and wait. Having said that, I'm fully invested and believe I will make a killing. A fool and his money. What money?

Impeach The Pope!

You gotta like the way this guy thinks. More and more people, everywhere, are coming to the same conclusions.

Stop Loss To Stop

Bob Gates, current Secretary of Defense, former Iran Contra criminal, cringing, treasonous, coward and raging alcoholic, announced the military will be phasing out the infamous stop loss program, whereby enlisted men can be kept in service, under arms, for months or years after their active duty enlistment expires.

Good. Nobody in the military, with the exception of the worst elements of the effete, poncy, officer corps oligarchy ever thought this program acceptable. It's lamentable that it was allowed to be implemented at all and that it's going to take two more years to abolish.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pope Says Rubbers Make Things Worse.

The first thing that the Pope said to the press after his embarkation upon the Africa trip this morning, was about how the use of condoms cannot help in the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS. He says they, in fact, make the situation in Africa worse. He didn't say how.

It's difficult to respond to the Pontiff's comments on this subject. His opinions are mystifying. I guess that's the way he wants it. He's a very magical/mystical guy. Do you think he might be the Walrus?

Instead, I'll leave you with a very nice link to an article in which the Pope deplores the sloppy haberdashery of the clergy and thinks they should take a little more pride in how they look, since they are the direct representatives of the divine Lord and Savior here on earth and all. He also would like it if more of them wore those man dresses, like he does.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Red Birds Turn Into Yellow Dogs

Lo and behold. God's law changed over the weekend. Read about it here.

I'm glad for the little girl and her family if this means something to them. The important thing here isn't abortion rights or rule of civil law. It's all about the transparency of religious hypocrisy.

What this proves is that there is no absolute law of God, at least when it comes to the Catholic Church. First, theology is about controlling the people. When they rebel against that control, punitive measures are taken. If punitive measures are not effective and the people continue in their rebellion, it becomes a problem of retreat and retrench. Damage control and public relations. No thunder. No burning bush. Not even any thumbscrews. Just impotent old men. Blustering in the rapidly cooling twilight.

They cringe. They whine. They slaver. And back down. One unsteady step at a time. The will of God dwells in the plaque clogged, neural synapses of an octogenarian, ex Hitler youth poofter, in a frilly, brocaded, satin mu mu and red patent leather slippers. Eyes sunken and unfocused. Slack jawed. Drooling.

Friday, March 13, 2009

How Can A Man That Dresses Like This Be Homophobic?

Last Christmas, the Vatican sided with Iran and Wahhabi Arabia, voting against a measure in the United Nations that would condemn the criminalization of homosexuality. This is not the act of homosexuality we're talking about, it is the state of homosexuality. The measure was supported by every other European nation. Joy to the World, the Lord has come.

In Iran and Arabia, the sentence is death by strangulation. Read all about it. Nice pic of Popo Gigo. Vatican sources were quick to point out that the Pope does not advocate the death penalty as a punishment for being a sissy boy. I'm glad they straightened that out.

Michael Steel, Redeux

A month or so ago, I commented here on the choice of Michael Steele as chairman of the RNC. I made the case that he was a reasonable man, with moderate views, from a State where political compromise was not uncommon. He was a good choice for leadership of his party but an unrealistic one, for exactly those reasons.

He is pro life in the sense that he is personally apposed to abortion. I do not believe he is lying about this. He believes that Roe versus Wade is bad law and that legality of abortion is appropriately better left to voters at the State and local level. If Roe is ever reversed by the Supreme Court, it will undoubtedly be on this basis and not because of some Christ-o-ramic cavalcade of fetal person hood, dog and pony show, sponsored by the Vatican and performed by Pentecostals .

His temperate nature and the sensibility of his beliefs, make him unsuitable for leadership in the Republican Party. If the Democrats were the party they claimed to be, there would be room for him in their tent. There isn't now. Not only is this a mistake, it shames them.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Brazilian Excommunication Update

Here's an article documenting how that excommunication of the doctors and family of the little Brazilian girl pregnant with twins by her stepfather, aborted in the fourth month, is going for the Catholic Church.

Pretty much like you'd expect.

I think maybe some liberalized abortion laws are in Brazil's future.

A Modern Catholic Hero

Tony Blair is a great hero to the Christo fundies here in America, who remember him as George Bush's seemingly only friend, among the leadership of the democratic, developed, World. His star has risen even higher with them, now that he has joined the Catholic church.

It doesn't surprise me that most Catholics welcome him into the fold. His views seem totally compatible with those of my Catholic friends, neighbors and co workers. It does seem strange that the bile spewing, hate mongers, among the values voting crowd, welcome him as well. How stupid are they?

Tony supports subsidized birth control and abortion on demand, for everyone from the age of puberty on, in all cases, with no parental notification. He always has. Tony believes in total integration of homosexual families into society, with no reservations. He forced Catholic adoption agencies to provide gay couples equal service or shutdown. He made it against the law to even speak of homosexuality negatively or as a sin, at any gathering, public or private, including at any church or religious venue in Great Britain. Tony believes in the ordination of women into the priesthood. He believes in abolishing celibacy among the clergy. He believes that the laity must take more responsibility for and greater control of, church doctrine, dogma, liturgy, finances and public outreach. He is supported in all of these beliefs by his wife, a lifelong Catholic and the person he credits with his conversion to Catholicism.

I wish Tony well in his adventures in the Catholic World. He sounds like the kind of man I would be proud to call a friend. George Bush was lucky to have him. He should have listened to him more, instead of playing him for a dupe.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Don't Drag the Rest of Us into Them

I have many problems with the minions of organized religion. Every one of those problems has to do with their desire to make me live or act in a certain way that satisfies their belief structure. I have no problem with the way they live. If they want to subjugate their women and the women put up with it, fine. If they want to condone the sodomizing of their sons and marry their daughters off at thirteen years old to old men, more power too them. They don't have to practice birth control or have abortions. They don't have to practice or condone gay marriage. They can conduct their services in any way and in any language they want. I don't care whether their holy men pretend to be celibate or not. It is offensive and injurious to me that the religious make charges that atheists and secular types are attempting to persecute and penalize those that choose to be religious.

The problems in religious society are of their own making. Progressives within the church seek to reform the church while the traditionalists seek to stop them. Atheists have nothing to do with this. We do not instruct progressive believers in how to make trouble. We do not evangelize among the faithful, attempting to bring them over to our side. There are no large, powerful organizations made up of atheists with leaders that attempt to influence the political process. We do not attempt to influence the religious in any way except to leave us alone, to live our lives in peace.

The religious should give up all this culture war crap and mind their own business. They would be best advised to put their own house in order and leave atheists alone. There are very few abortions among the atheist community. We generally are pretty good about birth control. Unwanted pregnancy is a problem primarily among those who profess to believe in God. If they don't want abortions they don't have to have them. I have not met many gay atheists. Those that I have met could care less about being "married in the eyes of God". At most, they are completely satisfied with secular equality in the eyes of the law and who could argue with that. Atheists want the same protections under the law to live their lives in peace as the religious. If their beliefs and practices are not the same as the majority, they should be protected, as long as it doesn't affect the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of others.

The great unspoken truth about the culture wars is that it is a struggle between the progressive religious and the traditional religious. I would say to them, please keep your fights in church where they belong. Don't drag the rest of us into them.

The Truth That's Always Been

First the Bush administration and now Obama and his representatives, tell the American people that although the economic times are perilous, things should turn around in at most, several months and then the country and the World will be back on track for continued economic growth and prosperity. By putting out information like this, they do no service to anyone. The World economy is just beginning to unravel. There are no factors present which might stop or reverse this process. It will likely take several years, at least, to reach a bottom. History tells us there will be famine, plague, genocide and war in the meantime. At that point, we can begin to reorganize, rebuild and regain some measure of economic well being. This process is likely to take an extended period of time before anything like the previous levels of affluence in the developed World emerge, if they ever do.

The people deserve truth. They get lied to all the time. They hear lies about the reasons we go to war. About supposedly evil but non existent enemies, foreign and domestic. They are taught to put their faith and trust in a God that doesn't exist and in leaders who don't care about them.

I guess the real truth they are being taught is that it's every man for himself. That is the truth that's always been.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Who's Winning the Culture Wars?

The Culture wars have been going on in this country for at least since it was founded and arguably since the first settlers came. Who's been winning? I wonder.

Seen any slaves, lately? Do women have the vote? Are labor unions legal? Contraception? Abortion? Divorce? Is evolution of the species taught in public school? Is it legal to have a sexual relationship outside of wedlock? Can you set up housekeeping with that person? Does that person even have to be of the opposite sex? Is there a military draft? How many more examples can you name. How many that you, yourself, exemplify? What are some of the victories of the Right? There must be some. They escape me at the moment.

The Right Wing, Christo-fundies are crowing about the impending victory they believe they will win in California, to keep marriage between a man and a woman. Think about that. Is that what they are reduced to, in their fight to hold the line on traditional culture? Pretty sad.

Even if they win on traditional marriage. How long do you think they can hold the line there? 3 years? 5 years? More than that? You're dreamin'.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Oh, It's OK Then

A Brazilian Archbishop explains why the excommunications over the abortion received by the 9 year old, pregnant by her stepfather with twins and whose life was determined to be in danger, was justified.

Only the mother of the girl and the medical personnel who participated in the process were excommunicated. The little girl herself was spared. I bet she feels better about the whole thing now.

What a relief. I'm glad the Archbishop explained that.

Read about it here.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Ratzo and His Redcaps Strike Again

The Mother and doctors of the raped 9 year old given an abortion yesterday, when her life was determined to be endangered, have been excommunicated from the Catholic church.

The rapist stepfather enjoys the wine and wafer at Brazilian jailhouse mass.

Read here.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

9 Year Old Has Abortion In Brazil

Just an update on the 9 year old Brazilian girl pregnant with twins I wrote about last week.

I don't have a problem with the outcome.

The Catholic church does.

Do you?

Monday, March 02, 2009

Sell Low, Before You Have To Sell Lower

American market equities are at 10 year lows. The Dow broke below 7000 today. Unless the markets rebound substantially from this point, forming a double bottom, the markets are heading lower. Much, much, lower and soon. Maybe this week or next.

The stimulus isn't going to work. We're fucked.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

So, What's the Problem With Bob, Kathleen and Joe ?

Bob Casey, Kathleen Sibelius and Joe Biden. Three Democratic politicians. All prominent in the new Obama administration. Given the temper of the times, none could be categorized as extremely liberal. Why does their presence set the Rights teeth on edge?

They are all members, born and raised, in the Roman Catholic Church. In most ways, they are more typical than not of their generation of American Catholics. They attend church, partake of the sacraments and are very attached to their religion. On the other hand, they do not agree politically with many of the stands that the increasingly conservative church leadership has taken. They are vilified for the differences between what they espouse and the exhortations of the elderly, brandy swilling, cigar chomping, snaggletoothed Princes of the Catholic Church, the whiskey blossoms across their cheeks and wattles on their jowls belying a supposedly ascetic lifestyle.

Fifty years ago, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, another Roman Catholic politician, stood before the people and vowed that while he was a devout Catholic, his duty as President would require him to act in a secular manner, for the benefit of all Americans and not to act as a servant to the man that many still characterized as the "Whore of Rome". That man was Pope John the XXIII. Pope John was a popular and populist man, beloved by the common folk around the World. He introduced many changes that led to a new era of cooperation and understanding between people of conflicting religions and philosophies. Under his guidance, Catholics were taught to no longer regard Jews as "Christ Killers" and shun them from society. The man who currently holds the job in Rome is nowhere near the man that John was. Not inclusive. Not popular. Some would say not so much a man of God, as he is a man of the church. Two very different things. Have standards of what is expected of American politicians changed so much in fifty years?

Apparently they have.

Why Pro Life Is Dying, Like a Late Term Fetus with a Crushed Head

The Democratic Party is in ascendancy in America, right now. Whether they stay that way or not doesn't really hinge on the success of President Obama's policies, so much as how well the electorate bonds with him. It would be unrealistic to assume that the Democrats will control the government indefinitely, or even for very long. Things just don't work that way.

The Republicans will sooner or later put together a coalition that again controls Congress, the Executive branch or both. It seems likely though, that one faction that will not regain momentum any time soon, is the one that espouses pro life policies.

The real barrier to future popularity of the pro life agenda rests with American women. Women, of every racial, religious, political and socio economic group are pro choice in the majority. They are, in every case, more pro choice, both in numbers and degree than men in the same groups. Women have also become the majority of voters in this country and will remain so, at least for the next generation. Demographics tell us that younger women are more pro choice than older women. With each passing year it is going to become harder to pass pro life legislation.

The last Republican first lady who was not openly pro choice was Pat Nixon but it's likely that both she and Mamie Eisenhower before her, were in fact pro choice. Few prominent Republican women politicians actively campaign on the issue of criminalizing abortion. Sarah Palin is a good example of this. While she constantly stressed that she did not believe in abortion, under any circumstances, short of those that threaten the life of the mother, also loudly touted that she was proud she had "chosen" to bear a special needs child and that her unmarried teenage daughter had "chosen" to bring her pregnancy to term. She did not make these statements simply because they were true. She made these statements to appeal to women voters who, while they themselves would like to think they would never choose abortion, still believe all women deserve to have the choice.

Some churches now seek to make abortion a litmus test upon which to base membership in good standing, with full privileges and access to sacraments. This would be a mistake. Women are the primary motivator that determines if a family attends church regularly and where they attend. It is much easier for women than men to switch churches to one more amenable to their way of thought, especially if the church they are attending is a traditional paternalistic, male only clergy organization. Women have not much vesting in such churches and little to lose in the way of status if they take their families away.

Abortion Story

Here's a pretty amazing and distressing story from Brazil. A nine year old girl, after years of illicit sexual activity with her stepfather, is pregnant with twins. The stepfather allegedly enticed her to have sex with him for money. She has a handicapped sister who was also abused in this way.

Because of her young age and lack of physical development, she will not be able to sustain the pregnancy. She will be kept in hospital and watched until her life is endangered, at which time, an abortion will be legal under Brazilian law.

Sounds pretty humane to me.

I wonder if her parents stressed the importance of chastity and abstinence with her and went over that whole "good touch, bad touch" thing.