Saturday, November 28, 2009

It is alright to ignore Sarah Palin.

Really. The fact that she has about the same chance of being President at this point as Raygun did in 1978 is not important...

Consider her audience. It ain’t “us.”

Her appeal is to folks who fear knowledge, because it is threatening. Knowledge is not ‘certainty,’ except as to the ‘certainty’ of “ambiguity.”

Her “supporters” are existential cowards. We may see them as the paradigm case of inauthenticity and bad faith.

E.g.: Knowing about catastrophic climate change is a TERRIBLE burden. Really internalizing that knowledge, speaking it, repeating it, imposes a burden upon us.

If you deny it, you can reject the burden–though of course not the consequences. But rejection also makes it possible to blame those who did not reject the knowledge for the “bad” outcomes…

That’s why it’s cowardice…not mere ignorance.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Col. Mikey Weinstein (USAF, Ret.) got pissed off when his son was dissed at the USAF Academy for not being an evangelistic/fundi/Christard by his classmates. THe USAFA, more than any of the other USer service academies, functions as a Xisto-Fascist madrassa.
Albuquerque-based Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF;, the civil rights/charitable organization that has worked both fearlessly and tirelessly to stop religious discrimination and oppression in the United States armed forces, has been nominated for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize.

Since its founding in 2005, the MRFF has become the undisputed national and international leader in the civil rights movement to restore the severely fractured wall between church and state in the United States military and to stop the ill effects of noxious religious discrimination both domestically and abroad. The growing organization currently has over 15,000 constituent clients from today’s American active duty military, amazingly most of them practicing Christians. MRFF has also fought aggressively for the Constitutional rights of United States service members who are Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, atheists, agnostics and other religious minorities, and to stop the unbridled proselytizing of Afghans, Iraqis, Pakistanis and other foreign nationals by the U.S. military.

While the Nobel committee does not officially release the names of nominees for 50 years, the letter nominating the MRFF was authorized for release by the Foundation, though redacted so as not to reveal the identity of the nominating source at his request. The nominator of MRFF for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize is identified as a Senator from a foreign nation, which is an ally of the United States, and the only Christian legislator in the upper chamber of that country’s national parliament.

The nomination letter states, “The past accomplishments and ongoing critical work of the MRFF have gained this civil rights organization the profound respect of officers and officials in the highest ranks of the United States military...”.

The MRFF has tenaciously taken on the U.S. military with a bold, brave approach to stopping the systemic and embedded discrimination against those who are not fundamentalist Christians in today’s armed forces, as well as against the citizens of the Islamic countries where our military is presently engaged in combat operations. Such egregious acts of bigotry and prejudice include violence and threats against U.S. sailors, soldiers, marines, airmen, cadets and midshipmen who will no longer accept the unconstitutional abuse of forced religious oppression from their military chains of command.

I am deeply and profoundly honored for the Foundation to be nominated; especially by such a respected and influential member of a foreign Parliament allied with America,” said Michael L. "Mikey" Weinstein, MRFF's Founder and President. Weinstein is a former White House lawyer and also former General Counsel to Texas billionaire and two-time Presidential candidate H.Ross Perot and Perot Systems Corporation. Mr. Weinstein is a 1977 U.S. Air Force Academy honor graduate who has taken on and leads this civil rights mission for religious non-discrimination. Over the past five years, Weinstein, his family and MRFF have endured a steady diet of serious threats and offensive acts of reprisal and retribution.

The nominating letter goes on to say that, "Mr. Weinstein and his family have been the target of grotesque retaliatory death threats and actions from the American religious fundamentalists MRFF fights; such harassment has included the repeated shooting out of the windows of their home, the burning of a church where he was to speak; the placement of slaughtered animals at his front doorstep...and the crude markings of swastikas and crucifixes on his family’s dwelling."

Weinstein has been described by Harper’s magazine as the "constitutional conscience of the U.S. military." He is the father of three children including two sons (and a daughter-in-law) who also graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy. His family includes three consecutive generations of military academy graduates and over 130 years of combined active duty military service in a plethora of U.S. combat theaters and situations spanning most of the last century.

In 2005, in response to overt religious discrimination at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Weinstein started MRFF. His specific mission at the time was to stop the ubiquitous religious discrimination from fundamentalist Christians at the Academy bent on converting mainline Protestants, Roman Catholics and non-Christians to their beliefs utilizing the draconian spectre of military command influence. That civil rights mission has now massively expanded over the last four years to include all of the approximately 1,000 American military installations scattered around the globe in over 130 host countries.

Weinstein is the author of With God On Our Side: One Man’s War Against an Evangelical Coup in America’s Military, published in 2006 from St. Martins Press. The paperback edition, published in 2008, has a forward by Ambassador (retired) Joe Wilson. The book is an expose on the systemic problem of religious intolerance throughout the U.S. armed forces.

The redacted letter nominating MRFF is attached.

The winner of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize will be announced in October of next year by the Nobel Peace Prize Committee in Oslo, Norway. The Committee reported that it had received the largest number of official nominees ever for the 2009 Peace Prize competition recently won by President Barack Obama; 172 individuals and 33 organizations were nominated worldwide.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Billionaires for WealthCare: A retrospective

Via Blog for our Future:
Without the Koch money and buses, The Tea Partiers were able to muster about 30 people to rail against things. The Billionaires for Wealthcare joined the Tea Partiers in what was otherwise a disappointing day for them.

A day in the life of veteran reporter/political sleuth, Mike Stark:

You can see some other great videos from that long day in the Senate here.

And leave Mike a little love if you have any not already demarcated for Black Friday...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

"The Purpose of 'Purpose'": Richard Dawkins

Introduced by one of the few "star" biologists/professors of the University of Minnesota, Morris, PZ Myers (Pharyngulites will know the name). The talk is almost an hour long, but is well worth the investment of time, particularly if you might be likely to encounter the babbling, incoherent, god-bothered minions of "the Designer":

I think, and am glad to see, that this seems to mark a retreat from Dennett's "mimetics," with which concept I always harbored many reservations...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Deep-Fryed Turkey: The BEST!

Alton Brown sure seems to know his stuff!

I first encountered this style of turkey preparation when living in Baton Rouge between '84 and '94. Even then, down there, iirc, they referred to it as "Cajun" style. The trick is injecting the bird with deep pockets of flavoring that perfuse the meat as it cooks...

It's done when it floats atop the boiling oil.

It's the juiciest, tastiest turkey I ever et...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Fascism: The Revolt Of The Elite Against The People Who Serve Them

In a piece on Alternet today, there's a post descrying 15 symptoms of the coming, inevitable, probably fatal fracture of USer 'democracy.' (What, I thought, only 15?--W).

I think it was the Italian, anti-Catholic/anti-fascist scholar, Gramsci-- murdered by Mussolini in prison for thought crimes--who is the source, or at least the inspiration, for the sentiment in the hed, above, as well as of the admonitions which follow:
15 Signs American Society Is Coming Apart at the Seams
By David DeGraw, Amped Status. Posted November 21, 2009.

Are we nearing a tipping point as rapacious elites push a heavily armed populace too far? (Is Ratzi a Nazi?--W)

(Editor's note: The following is an edited excerpt from the Amped Status report, "The Critical Unraveling of U.S. Society.")

The economic elite have launched an attack on the U.S. public and society is unraveling at an increased rate. You may have missed it in the mainstream news media, but statistical societal indicators are reading red across the board. Let’s look at the top 15 statistics that prove we are under attack.

1) The inequality of wealth in the United States is soaring to an unprecedented level. The U.S. already had the highest inequality of wealth in the industrialized world prior to the financial crisis. Since the crisis, which has hit the middle class and poor much harder than the top 1 percent, the gap between the top 1 percent and the remaining 99 percent of the U.S. population has grown to a record high...
We see, already, the direction this is going. There is no need to proceed further with the exact enumeration of the ills that have brought us to this pretty pass. We'd all have idiosyncratically different lists pointing to the same phenomenon: the increasing disparity in the participation in the "goods" of the social order between the lives of the ordinary folks and their industrial, financial, political, and military overlords. It is increasingly obvious, and --absent serious social disruption-- increasingly inevitable.

It's a downward trajectory, cultural and social gravity now more an more in control.
Never before has the United States had so many citizens with so little means, little to no income and heavy debt. Debt and costs of living have now shackled U.S. citizens just as they have shackled people throughout the world. The economic hit men have now hit the United States as well and millions of American citizens are now effectively sentenced to a slow death. (The suppurating secret sore of the "credit" economy is how perilously close to indenture are its most enthusiastic participants--W)

Economic Imperial blowback has hit the mainland.

And the clock is ticking louder by the day…

And here’s two more facts for you:

14) The gun and ammunition manufacturing industry in the United States has over 200 companies producing billions of dollars in annual revenues. This huge manufacturing base cannot fulfill demand quickly enough. The demand for guns and ammunition has hit a record high and the gun industry cannot produce enough bullets to keep up with orders.

Americans are arming themselves to the teeth!

15) In the past year, 100 new armed militia groups have been formed, as militia members have doubled in numbers. Federal authorities are gravely concerned about the “uptick in militia activities." One federal authority recently said, “All it’s lacking is a spark. I think it’s only a matter of time before you see threats and violence."

So let’s break down these numbers.

You have a population of 50 million people who are in desperate need of money, they most likely have no health insurance and can’t afford to get health care or help of any kind. Part of this population probably also has loved ones who can’t get life sustaining medical treatments, or loved ones who have already died due to lack of costly medical treatment. The clock is ticking loud for these people and they are running out of options fast, and time delayed is time closer to death.

While the richest 1 percent have never had it so good, a significant percentage of the U.S. population now has firsthand experience in this. Millions upon millions of Americans are poor, broke, struggling, starving, desperate… and armed.

We are sitting on a powder keg!

We are now witnessing the critical unraveling of U.S. society.
Now THERE'S a fucking Jeremiad, innit.

I haven't always known both the political and the physical life-worlds I inhabited were so delicate. Until the beginning of the Reagan years, I never thought I'd be around at the fall, of either one. And it looks like now they'll both go down together; in which, one supposes, there may fe found a kernel of poetic justice. I guess mebbe mostly we all thought it was more robust than it was...democracy, I mean. Mebbe we never though it could hapen here, or that they'd so aggressively game the system and violate the previous boundaries of the acceptable.

Me and the dogs? I'm armed, lightly, but enough to mebbe repel the first wave...We'll git a couple of before they get us...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

We Are All Sub-Primates Now!

Sources now predict that the peak in housing foreclosures will peak somewhat later than first expected, coming sometime in 2011, instead of the last Q, 2010.

That's the good news. Calculated Risk collected the following from MBA:
On the MBA conference call concerning the "Q3 2009 National Delinquency Survey", MBA Chief Economist Jay Brinkmann said this morning:

The problem is moving to prime loans, including fixed rate prime loans, and also FHA loans. "We are seeing the first hit on the weaker prime fixed borrowers."

Remember the delinquency rate includes loans in modification (something to remember - especially for the 90 day delinquent loans).

MBA expects unemployment rate to peak in Q1 or Q2 2010, and delinquencies to peak sometime after the unemployment rate peaks.

Brinkmann expects foreclosures to possibly peak in 2011 (last quarter he said late 2010). He changed the forecast for two reasons: he expects unemployment to stay fairly high, and he thinks the prime borrowers will hang on before defaulting, and all the foreclosure moratoria will delay foreclosures - a longer trailing effect than usual.

Note: Many more questions this time!
He includes the requisite charts and graphs, on the suite, too

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

School Daze: A "News Value" Puzzle

Remember, in school, you'd get little puzzles: Which of these do NOT belong?

Below I've listed the five "teaser" heds for news stories on the Yahoo mail home page at no particular point in the day yesterday..

You're challenge today is to name which srory doesn't belong with the rest, and why, (in 250 words or less).

Begin now!
1) NC searchers find body of missing 5-year-old girl (AP)

2) 12 Afghans killed in attack on meeting with French (AP)

3) AP Poll: Americans fret over health overhaul costs (AP)

4) New advice: Skip mammograms in 40s, start at 50 (AP)

5) Millions will have to repay part of tax credit (AP)
So which one is NOT LIKE all the others? Why?

Extra credit: Follow the links. Discuss why the order in which the stories were presented could be significant, and what its significance could be? Lose points for banal, pedestrian mention of "If it bleeds, it leads.")

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Support Mike Stark, Progressive Reporter, Asking Tough Questions To The Powerful

What the "injured parties" thought:
Unflattering videos of senators trying to explain their votes have gone viral on the Internet, including one of Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) swatting away a hand-held video camera held by a liberal blogger questioning his vote against the (Franken, anti-rape) amendment.…

Privately, GOP sources acknowledge that they failed to anticipate the political consequences of a “no” vote on the amendment.…

It has circulated a Web video that used a clip from Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show to target three senators who face reelection in 2010: Republican Sens. David Vitter of Louisiana, Richard Burr of North Carolina and Jim DeMint of South Carolina.…

“I think the whole purpose of that amendment in my opinion was to create a vote which they could use to attack Republicans,” said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), who was himself confronted by a liberal blogger with a video camera questioning his vote.
The clips in question are these, on Stark's blog:
Here's Cornyn, from Texas, natch...

I have only supplied the raw data. Go to Stark's site and help him get the hit that will get him the ads that will get him the cred to get into the faces of these fatuous fascists! You can help support him by signing this petition.

DOTOF™ to Digby for the linkee...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Dept. of We Are So Fucked: Are You Ready For Domestic Water Wars?

Only one percent of the Earth's entire store of water is potable. There's a 50/50 chance that, by 2017--merely 8 years--Lake Mead will become useless mud-puddle. Oh, and here, in the high Chihuahuan? The Rio Grande's down to a trickle, and the Ogalalla acquifer is receding at a record pace. Mebbe I can get along on whiskey? Gonna be damn hard on the dogs, though...

Via AlterNet:

California's Water Crisis Is Just the
Beginning for Water Woes in the U.S.

By Susan J. Marks, AlterNet. Posted November 13, 2009.
Legislators silenced some of the outcry over water in California last week with the passage of a sweeping water-reform bill.

But the thirst for water in California, and across the country, has only just begun.

Many Californians blame their water problems on drought, the Endangered Species Act (the "farmers vs. fish" debate) and inadequate infrastructure.

Others point to mismanagement, overallocated water rights and a lack of conservation. The reasons, though, behind the state's water crisis, and that which threatens the rest of the country and many places around the globe, go well beyond that.

Fresh water, once considered Earth's infinite, simply is not inexhaustible. Demand has soared, and supplies dwindled. Factor in climate change and drought, and the result is shortage and conflict over what's left.

The contentious battles plaguing California over the past year -- marches, protests, dried-up fields, demands for massive aid, and more -- will spread across the country. Sooner rather than later our once-abundant water taps could run dry, and the water battles to come will make the health care debate seem like a tea party.

Why such doom and gloom? Water is the new oil, only there is no alternative. Every living being on this planet needs water to survive. Each of us has a vested interest in this elixir of life.

Complicating the equation, no one wants to relinquish his or her share. California approved a controversial water reform, but stay tuned. Californians still thirst for diminishing supplies, as do other areas of the country.

Beyond drought, fish and canals, overpopulation exacerbates our water troubles. The U.S. population is up more than 70 percent in the last 50 years. With that boom comes huge demands for water, and not only to drink. It takes water to produce and deliver our energy, grow our food, manufacture our goods, mine our minerals, and even to deliver the water we drink.

Populations, too, have moved to where the water is not. Arid cities like Albuquerque, N.M.; Phoenix; Tucson, Ariz.; Dallas; Denver and Las Vegas have limited water supplies.

In a paper written in February 2008, researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California predict a 50 percent chance that by 2017 Lake Mead, the primary water supply for Las Vegas, will hit "dead pool" status. That's when the lake's water level drops below the intakes for Hoover Dam, energy production ceases and no more water is released downstream. ("When Will Lake Mead Go Dry?" [PDF] by Tim Barnett, a research marine physicist, and David Pierce, a climate scientist.)
This is only part of the bad news. Read the rest at the site in the link above. And start saving your spit...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dept. Of We Knew It All Along: The Raygunners Stole the '80 Election

That darn Robert Parry! Him and his gol-dang ConsortiumNews blog. They are such a cards. Playful folks, alright...

Why, just Imagine, the cheek!

Here they go a'tellin' us that what everybody knew about the '80 campaign but that nobody--except us 'unserious' people--dared to talk about, which was that the Raygunauts--led by the CIA, in the person of GHWBush and Bill Casey--met secretly in Paris with the Iranians holding US Embassy hostages in Tehran, and made a deal to trade guns for hostages when they were in power, that prevented Jimmy Carter's so-called "October Surprise" from perhaps turning the tied in the election by negotiating the hostages' release in time for the Nov. 1980, vote.

Until today, alleging the 'truth' to such allegations was widely regarded as akin to proudly donning a tin-foil helmet and a hobby horse to take on the dragons under the bed: Foolish, outrageous, childish, paranoid. It's been almost universally thought to be expressly "UNAMERICAN" to even harbor such a suspicion. "Serious" sentiment held, and will likelky cleave to the myth that "Americans" would never descend to gangsterism and thuggery merely to win the presidency. That "beacon of liberty to the world," the United States of America would NEVER have dimmed that blazing light while such blatant fraud, and acts that were 'technically' treason were committed in the furtherance of political ends.

Turns out that that is EXACTLY, PRECISELY what occurred. The evidence was gathered, witnesses were interviewed, and the story was there, but it was never told until now. Maximum Props to Robert Parry and his crew. Reagan and Casey have actualized their incipient putrescence already, but Big Daddy Bush is still among us, and it would do the country good to see a treacherous oligarch strapped to a gurney, on his way to the "big Sleep."

Over at Mark Crispin Miller's blog, he's got a link to the Parry/Consortium story, or you can link through directly from this link.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Obama Plan Portends "Net Neuter-alization"

My buddy, Uncle Smokes, on FB today pointed to this BoingBoing item, in which one will discern the outlines of a system which would completely silence the most effectively democratizing parts of the Web and render the Netz a safe, corpoRat preserve.

Both of my readers will attest that Y'r Ob'd't S'v't has been predicting for close onto 10 years that the Owners--who had spent the previous 150 years, countless lives, and billions upon billions of dollars diligently consolidating their monopolistic command over ALL "means of production" and distribution of information--would eventually devise a way to commodify and take over the Web.

This effort to geld the Web is a long-term, multi-pronged effort, abetted by an 'officialdom' made extremely uneasy by citizens who have means and opportunity to reply to and interrogate their 'betters'--their congressional representatives, as well as to the Owners of the whole enterprise--in a quasi-public forum where the Owners-qua-'subjects' do NOT control either the conditions of participation or the vocabulary. "Pornography" was the first stalking horse for internet content regulation, and the allied concern for "The Children," were the first wave. The attack on net neutrality was one front of the battle to silence dissent and democracy in communications. "Copyright" is yet another. And still in the wings is the prospect of requiring "libel" bonds, or other restrictive regulations on netizens, to interfere in the free exchange of ideas.

The Oligarchs will never cease to quiet and/or coopt the Nets. They will no more quit trying to impose discipline on the Web than the Israelis will quit trying to expel the Palestinians. Guaranteed!

From the official position on the treaty, the Obamanauts apparently are fully supportive of it, and willing to concede EVERYTHING to the WIPO..

This is bad. Very, Very Bad.
Secret copyright treaty leaks. It's bad. Very bad.

The internet chapter of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a secret copyright treaty whose text Obama's administration refused to disclose due to "national security" concerns, has leaked. It's bad. It says:
* That ISPs have to proactively police copyright on user-contributed material. This means that it will be impossible to run a service like Flickr or YouTube or Blogger, since hiring enough lawyers to ensure that the mountain of material uploaded every second isn't infringing will exceed any hope of profitability.

* That ISPs have to cut off the Internet access of accused copyright infringers or face liability. This means that your entire family could be denied to the internet -- and hence to civic participation, health information, education, communications, and their means of earning a living -- if one member is accused of copyright infringement, without access to a trial or counsel.

* That the whole world must adopt US-style "notice-and-takedown" rules that require ISPs to remove any material that is accused -- again, without evidence or trial -- of infringing copyright. This has proved a disaster in the US and other countries, where it provides an easy means of censoring material, just by accusing it of infringing copyright.

* Mandatory prohibitions on breaking DRM, even if doing so for a lawful purpose (e.g., to make a work available to disabled people; for archival preservation; because you own the copyrighted work that is locked up with DRM)
The ACTA Internet Chapter: Putting the Pieces Together

Next: More on secret copyright treaty: your kids could go to jail for noncommercial music sharing
BoingBoing has been in the lead reporting this story. Here's a partial record of their previous entries:
New ACTA copyright treaty dodges the UN, poor countries and ...
Obama's transparency commitment makes secret copyright treaty ...turns out to be codswallop. Gee. Nobody would ever have guessed
EFF sues Obama administration for promised access to secret ...
Petition to Obama government to disclose secret copyright treaty ...
Anti-counterfeiting treaty turns into maximum copyright free-for ...
Meet the former Time Warner exec the US govt has put in charge of ...
It's fascinating to watch, through the heds on the pieces, the decay of the Obama regime's attitude from "Yay, democracy" to "Fuck democracy" in just a few months, innit?

And what is more, nobody could ever have predicted it...Oh, wait...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

How's All That "Hearts & Minds" Stuff Working, Fellas?

Via "The Beeb."
At least eight members of the Afghan security forces have been killed in a Nato air strike, the Afghan defence ministry says.

The incident occurred in north-western Badghis province on Friday, as Afghan and US forces searched for two missing American soldiers.

The patrol came under rebel attack and reportedly called for air support.
Nato has acknowledged the Afghan deaths and says it is investigating whether they were caused by the air strike.

The Afghan defence ministry said a base housing coalition troops and Afghan security forces was mistakenly hit.

'Important mission'

Ministry spokesman Gen Zaher Azimy said on Saturday: "Yesterday, in a Nato air strike, seven Afghan (soldiers and police) were martyred in Badghis province."
Later a spokesperson for the Nato force, US Navy Capt Jane Campbell, said: "We are saddened by the loss of life and injuries sustained during this very important mission."

Those killed include four Afghan soldiers and three policemen, and another person believed to have been an interpreter.

Five Americans and 18 Afghans were wounded in the incident.

It comes days after an Afghan policeman killed five British troops in Helmand province, who the soldiers had been training.

Friday, November 6, 2009


(Below: A factory fishing vessel scours a remote Antarctic bay.)

Terri Gross' producers find her the most interesting, and occasionally terrifying guests. Earlier this week, she interviewed author/scientist Daniel Pauly, who had some really dreadful news about the consequences of over-fishing, and not mererly the fisheries we know are damaged. My pal Suzanne in Maine posted the link on her FB page (DOTOF™). An examplary quote?:
...Alaska pollock, as you may know, it's the biggest single species fisheries in the world, except for the Peruvian anchovy, of which more later. And Alaska pollock, the stock is declining now, rapidly. And there will be a problem with the large firms that produce this fish, to get white fish of - in sufficient amount or sufficient quality to maintain this consumption. Also, you must realize that only a few markets have this fish.

The U.S. imports 80 percent of the fish that is consumed in the U.S., so the European Union. In the European Union, the fish all - is all imported from elsewhere. An elsewhere is mainly Africa and the South Pacific and Antarctica. So, our local waters in Europe and in North America are not supplying the markets anymore.
This is a really depressing story, because it suggests that we humans have probably destroyed the existing ecosystem in the largest environmental organ on the planet. Add to that the fact that there is not a single fish in any stream, pond, or lake which does NOT contain toxic levels of heavy metals (mercury, etc), and you cannot dismiss the claim that it is due to our own hubris and ego that


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

"Finding My Religion"

(Click on Image to Enlarge--DOTOF™ to Susan Barber Gourd-Mill, on FB)

Taxonomically correct, and amusing, too.

Me? "Gottlos," naturally. I mean, at heart, I am simply "god-less." Unaffected by things "godly." Immune to "god's" love. Unimpressed by "miracles." Unbidden by unheard voices. Un-god-blighted -- except by the 'faith' of others in their imaginary beings...

I find the whole matter simply irrelevant. It is, as the goddies themselves aver so proudly, completely "immaterial." Is there such a word as "Untheist"?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Jesus! "Catholic pastors directed to distribute anti-health reform materials at Mass"

Hello, Bishop? You like that nice little tax break you get on ALLLLLL that church property? Wanna keep it? How many souls is it worth to ya, padre? Via The Colorado Independent:
This past weekend the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops instructed pastors at parishes across the country to distribute material urging Catholics to oppose the health reform bills making their way through Congress for allowing public funding of abortions. Priests were to insert the Bishops Conference pdf leaflets and letters into parish news bulletins, distribute them at church doors or place them in pews. They were also directed to read a statement at mass to reinforce the message.

The Conference of bishops reportedly sent the orders out last Thursday, the same day Speaker Nancy Pelosi presented the mammoth 2,000-page House reform bill to lawmakers and the public.

The material explains that the Catholic Church supports reform that will “protect the life and dignity of all people from the moment of conception until natural death.”

The insert contains phone numbers and web addresses at which constituents can contact their Representatives.

CNSNews reports that the Catholic Church has a “major stake” in the legislation:
A little over 100 million Americans are treated through Catholic hospitals and health centers. There are 624 Catholic hospitals in America. Also, 11 of the nation’s 40 largest health care systems are Catholic, such as Ascension Health, Catholic Health Initatives and Trinity Health.
As observers have pointed out, however, the bishops’ position seems to be oddly anti-government. The Church has never opposed any private health insurance policies that provide abortion benefits. It has never urged a boycott of particular insurance companies for offering abortion benefits. Aetna, Blue Cross, Cigna, United Healthcare– all the major private insurers provide for abortion services in their policies. All policy holders are paying into the provider network and subsidizing all its services.

The strong stance by the Bishops led one CNSNews commenter to ask why priests are being directed to mouth Republican Party talking points.
Republican politics comes to the pulpit of The Mass. How sweet. The Mass becomes politicized.
The leaflet:
Is repellant, but don't take my word for it. Follow the link.

How Goldman-Sachs Fraudsters Cheated Investors While Homeowners Go Broke...

Oh NOZE! Real journalists have started to investigate the banksters and their filthy dealings.

Blogger/Buddy Edger, at Antemedius, assembled and posted the follow rumination on the doings of the Gods of Finance. In this first video Greg Gordon of McClatchy News reports that Goldman knew that mortgages were not being properly reviewed...

More at The Real News

Yet the motherfuckers bundled these mortgages, sold the bundles, and then bet against their solvency (there is NO SUCH THING aas "business ethics.").
(Below) Paul Jay interviews Gordon who explains that a five month McClatchy investigation has found that Goldman's failure to disclose those secret bets may have violated securities laws - that in 2006 and 2007, Goldman Sachs Group peddled more than $40 billion in securities backed by at least 200,000 risky home mortgages, but never told the buyers that it also was secretly betting that a sharp drop in U.S. housing prices would send the value of those securities plummeting.

More at The Real News
In 2006 and 2007, Goldman Sachs Group peddled more than $40 billion in securities backed by at least 200,000 risky home mortgages, but never told the buyers that it also was secretly betting that a sharp drop in U.S. housing prices would send the value of those securities plummeting. Now, a five- month McClatchy investigation has found that Goldman's failure to disclose those secret bets may have violated securities laws.
I personally would not object if these greedy, money-grubbing fascist motherfuckers were hanged in gibbets from the street-lamps on Wall Street, til their bones fell into the gutter...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Obama Salts Ag Dept With Monsanto, ConAgra Frankenfoods Flunkies

“We’ll tell ConAgra that it’s not the Department of Agribusiness. It’s the Department of Agriculture. We’re going to put the people’s interests ahead of the special interests.” --Candidate Obama.

Did you really think so? After Tom Vilsack was named AgSec? Really?


Over the last month, Obama nominated two more “BIG AGRA” power brokers–Roger Beachy and Islam Siddiqui–to key governement positions, putting agribusiness executives in charge of our country’s agricultural research and trade policy.

(Wanna bet this a tacit apology made "politically necessary" by the "Dal-Obama's" need to restore perfect balance, bipartisanship, and harmony, after the accidental affront and embarrassment caused to the BIG AGRA interests by rebuke implicit in Michele Obama's 'natural garden' planted on WhiteHouse grounds...This guy is so fucking gutless...)

Siddiqui was a paid flack, and front-man for the crop-poison lobby, the American Crop Protection Association, and a shill for GM/frankenfoods. And Beachy's the former head of the Donald Danforth Plant Research Center in St. Louis, MO, and a long-time flunky for Monsanto, Named to head NIFA, (National Institute of Food and Agriculture), Beachy controls where research funds are spent in the U.S. This is not good news for proponents of sustainable and organic agriculture.

For his part, Siddiqui, who last month was nominated to be the Chief Agricultural Negotiator at the Office of the US Trade Representative, has been a registered pesticide lobbyist and most recently the Vice President of Science and Regulatory Affairs at CropLife America. In a previous stint at the USDA, Siddiqui was responsible for trying to set the national organic standards to allow irradiation, sewage sludge and GMOs to be considered “organic.” Fortunately, over 230,000 outraged Americans rose up and stopped this.

Most recently, Siddiqui’s CropLife MidAmerica sent First Lady Michelle Obama a letter saying that her “organic” garden made the pesticide lobby group “shudder”. Who would have thought months later that President Obama would be trying to give a lobbyist like Siddiqui a job?

While Beachy is already at work at the USDA, Siddiqui must be confirmed by the Senate. We have until Nov. 4th, (when the Senate Finance committee will vote) to make a difference.

Tell the president to DUMP Monsanto’s men!

I'm sure he'll listen, aren't you?

DOTOF™: Mark Crispin Miller's News From Underground: